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The active speakers club

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steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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Ajani said:
steve_1979 said:
The active speakers club will have a new member on Tuesday. :D
Congrats!

I'm looking forward to your review of the DM5. I've been rather dissapointed that all the talk about the DM10 (or whatever it will eventually be called when it finally becomes a real product) has taken attention away from the DM5.

I especially want to hear your thoughts on how it sounds without a sub.
Thanks Ajani. :)

I've been saving up for some of DM10's but after falling in love with a pair of Sennheiser HD700's and blowing half of the money on a new headphone setup I've ended up buying a secondhand pair of DM5's instead. But considering that I mostly use them for nearfield use with a computer a compact pair of 5" speakers may end up being a better option than their big brothers anyway.

I'll be putting the Neutron Five 2.1 system up for sale in a few weeks but before it goes I'll be able to try the DM5's with and without the N5 sub to see how they fare. As I listen to a lot of electronic music as well as using them for movies and gaming a good subwoofer is likely to be essential for my needs. I expect a full fat 200 watt AVI subwoofer will be on order before too long.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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I've just ordered a Teufel DecoderStation 5 to use as an active speaker controller. It looks more useful than most other DAC/pre-amps because it has outputs for 2.0, 2.1 and 5.1 speakers. Very handy if you want to use a subwoofer with your active speakers.

It also has more functionality than most DAC/pre-amps with a remote control, 4 digital inputs (2 optical, 2 coax), 3 analogue inputs and a 5.1 analogue input. It can also decode Dolby and DTS sound on the digital inputs.

http://www.teufelaudio.com/accessories/decoderstation-5-mk2-p11757.html



 

ID.

New member
Feb 22, 2010
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steve_1979 said:
I've just ordered a Teufel DecoderStation 5 to use as an active speaker controller. It looks more useful than most other DAC/pre-amps because it has outputs for 2.0, 2.1 and 5.1 speakers. Very handy if you want to use a subwoofer with your active speakers.

It also has more functionality than most DAC/pre-amps with a remote control, 4 digital inputs (2 optical, 2 coax), 3 analogue inputs and a 5.1 analogue input. It can also decode Dolby and DTS sound on the digital inputs.

http://www.teufelaudio.com/accessories/decoderstation-5-mk2-p11757.html
Looks interesting. Look forward to reading your impressions especially compared to your head amp
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
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ID. said:
Looks interesting. Look forward to reading your impressions especially compared to your head amp
I've tried using the pre-outs on a cheap Yamaha receiver. In 'pure direct' mode it works great and is audiably transparent (i.e. it sounds identical to the Ephiphany Acoustics DAC/head-amp). The problem is that 'pure direct' mode only allows a 2.0 speaker output. But in normal mode which is necessary for 2.1 output the sound quality isn't quite as good and there's an auduable difference which detracts from the sound a bit. :(

The DecoderStation is designed specially for active speakers so it should hopefully be a more suitable partner. So long as it has audiably transparent sound and a 2.1 output which can be suitably setup to work with the DM5's and AVI sub I'll be happy. Fingers crossed...

Teufel allow a 2 month trial period so if it's not up to scratch I'll get my money back and continue the search. If it doesnt work to my satisfaction next on the list will be a Marantz NR1504. The Emotiva USP-1 looks like an interesting option too.



 

ID.

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Cheers. It looks good. Just the sort of thing I wanted for my living room actives. Not too expensive, not too big, plenty of connection options and, most of all, a remote control. The ability to incorporate subs or run a surround system is just a bonus.

I like the idea of a surround active system, although speaker cable and passive speakers are probably easier for rear speakers in terms of getting cables that are long enough and also easy to hide. Might be alright for a surround office system, but I have no interest in surround in my office.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
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18,795
ID. said:
I like the idea of a surround active system, although speaker cable and passive speakers are probably easier for rear speakers in terms of getting cables that are long enough and also easy to hide. Might be alright for a surround office system, but I have no interest in surround in my office.
The only potential drawbacks with the DecoderStation is that the display is quite small and might be tricky to read from a distance and if you want to use a digital 5.1 input it can only decode Dolby and DTS but not any of the other HD formats. This isn't an issue for my needs but it's something that anyone who wants to use it in a living room home cinema setup should bare in mind.

A 5.1 active system is easy to setup too. The low level signal that they receive is more vunerable to picking up interference than with passive speakers but so long as you make sure to use double screened coax cables there shouldn't be any issues.

Having two cables per speaker is the only drawback with actives IMO. It can be a bit inconvenient and they're harder to hide than regular passive speaker cables. I'm going to modify my speaker stands at some point in the future by drilling some larger holes in them so that both cables can be fitted through and hidden away from sight. The DM5's are lovely looking speakers themselves but leaving the cables on view can make a setup look a bit tatty IMO.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
231
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steve_1979 said:
I've tried using the pre-outs on a cheap Yamaha receiver. In 'pure direct' mode it works great and is audiably transparent (i.e. it sounds identical to the Ephiphany Acoustics DAC/head-amp). The problem is that 'pure direct' mode only allows a 2.0 speaker output. But in normal mode which is necessary for 2.1 output the sound quality isn't quite as good and there's an auduable difference which detracts from the sound a bit. :(
I made a mistake here. I still had one of the DSP functions turned on which was causing a difference to the sound. With everything switched off the Yamaha RX-V667 is audiably transparent when used as a DAC and pre-amp. When I compared it to the Epiphany Acoustics DAC and the DecoderStation 5 by doing some instantaneous A/B switches they all sounded identical. All of them are audiably transparent. Just as any good modern digital front end should be.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
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ID. said:
Looks interesting. Look forward to reading your impressions especially compared to your head amp
The DecoderStation 5 is a cracking piece of kit. It's very smart looking and well made with good quality materials. It's very compact too at about 23 x 5 x 15cm (W,H,D) so it fits nicely underneath a computer monitor.

Function wise it's dead simple to set up and use and there's plenty of flexibility for adjusting the subwoofer crossover settings. I'm not sure what else there is to say about it really, it just works.

I'm very happy with it and provided it works ok with the soon to be bought AVI subwoofer I'll definitely be keeping it. Whenever anybody on this forum asks what source they can use with active speakers the DecoderStation 5 is going to get an automatic recommendation from me.
 

ID.

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Feb 22, 2010
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steve_1979 said:
ID. said:
Cheers. It looks good. Just the sort of thing I wanted for my living room actives.
What speakers do you use?
Not really that interested in surround anyway. Can't remember the last time I watched a DVD...

At the moment I've got some Fostex PM0.4n in the living room because they are cheap enough that I don't kind too much if my 2 year old destroys the drivers. In future I'll probably move my A7Xs out of my office and into the living room (unless I return my main setup with a pair of PMC DB1i back into the living room), at which point I will want a DAC/preamp that lets me control the volume with a remote control so I don't have to keep getting up off the couch or use the volume function when running my ATV using the remote app.

Either way, I've generally been keeping an eye on various products with that functionality. Lots of interesting products that I like the look of but lack the remote like the Maverick Tube Magic and Luxman DA-200 (also a bit bigger than I want and variable output is only available for the RCA output, not the balanced connections).

Would love to hear AVI actives, especially as the appearance is more living room friendly. If I lived in the UK or Europe I'd even consider a blind buy, but I'm not willing to pay for shipping to Japan.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
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ID. said:
Not really that interested in surround anyway. Can't remember the last time I watched a DVD...

At the moment I've got some Fostex PM0.4n in the living room because they are cheap enough that I don't kind too much if my 2 year old destroys the drivers. In future I'll probably move my A7Xs out of my office and into the living room (unless I return my main setup with a pair of PMC DB1i back into the living room), at which point I will want a DAC/preamp that lets me control the volume with a remote control so I don't have to keep getting up off the couch or use the volume function when running my ATV using the remote app.

Either way, I've generally been keeping an eye on various products with that functionality. Lots of interesting products that I like the look of but lack the remote like the Maverick Tube Magic and Luxman DA-200 (also a bit bigger than I want and variable output is only available for the RCA output, not the balanced connections).

Would love to hear AVI actives, especially as the appearance is more living room friendly. If I lived in the UK or Europe I'd even consider a blind buy, but I'm not willing to pay for shipping to Japan.
The DM5's are in a different league to the Adam A5X / A7X. They don't even come close. Personally I think the DM5's are even better than the more expensive Adam S1X / S2X speakers.

They're also better than the PMC DB1's too (sorry for sounding like an AVI advert / fanboi but they really are incredibly competent speakers).
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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I've descovered a problem with the Teufel DecoderStation. :( Whenever there's a silence and it loses the audio signal there's a quite click noise when it picks up the signal again. After it picks up the signal again it takes about half a second before the audio starts playing. This means that on some tracks you miss the first half a second of music. It's not very noticeable but now that I heard it I can't unhear it and I notice it every time it happens. Teufel offer a 2 month trial period so it'll be going back soon and I'll stick with the Yamaha AVR instead.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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steve_1979 said:
I've descovered a problem with the Teufel DecoderStation. :( Whenever there's a silence and it loses the audio signal there's a quite click noise when it picks up the signal again. After it picks up the signal again it takes about half a second before the audio starts playing. This means that on some tracks you miss the first half a second of music. It's not very noticeable but now that I heard it I can't unhear it and I notice it every time it happens. Teufel offer a 2 month trial period so it'll be going back soon and I'll stick with the Yamaha AVR instead.
Morning steve,

Can you expand on that? When and how that happens?

I stream 90+% of my music from Spotify, how does this affect streaming?
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
davedotco said:
steve_1979 said:
I've descovered a problem with the Teufel DecoderStation. :( Whenever there's a silence and it loses the audio signal there's a quite click noise when it picks up the signal again. After it picks up the signal again it takes about half a second before the audio starts playing. This means that on some tracks you miss the first half a second of music. It's not very noticeable but now that I heard it I can't unhear it and I notice it every time it happens. Teufel offer a 2 month trial period so it'll be going back soon and I'll stick with the Yamaha AVR instead.
Morning steve,

Can you expand on that? When and how that happens?

I stream 90+% of my music from Spotify, how does this affect streaming?
Morning. :)

When connected to a PC via the optical input whenever it loses or picks up an audio stream (for example when a streamed video on the net finishes, at the start of a music album or occasionally in between each track on a few albums) there is a quiet click. When this click happens it is followed by about half a second of silence before any audio starts playing again meaning it occasionally misses on the first part of the first note when a song starts playing. Very irritating!

Shame because it's a nice bit of kit otherwise.

I'll give it a try with Spotify later and report back.

UPDATE - Yes it happens with Spotify too.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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steve_1979 said:
davedotco said:
steve_1979 said:
I've descovered a problem with the Teufel DecoderStation. :( Whenever there's a silence and it loses the audio signal there's a quite click noise when it picks up the signal again. After it picks up the signal again it takes about half a second before the audio starts playing. This means that on some tracks you miss the first half a second of music. It's not very noticeable but now that I heard it I can't unhear it and I notice it every time it happens. Teufel offer a 2 month trial period so it'll be going back soon and I'll stick with the Yamaha AVR instead.
Morning steve,

Can you expand on that? When and how that happens?

I stream 90+% of my music from Spotify, how does this affect streaming?
Morning. :)

When connected to a PC via the optical input whenever it loses or picks up an audio stream (for example when a streamed video on the net finishes, at the start of a music album or occasionally in between each track on a few albums) there is a quiet click. When this click happens it is followed by about half a second of silence before any audio starts playing again meaning it occasionally misses on the first part of the first note when a song starts playing. Very irritating!

Shame because it's a nice bit of kit otherwise.

I'll give it a try with Spotify later and report back.

UPDATE - Yes it happens with Spotify too.
Scheisse, that is really dumb.

Have you spoken to Teufel? Maybe it is a 'going to sleep' issue and adjustable.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
davedotco said:
steve_1979 said:
davedotco said:
steve_1979 said:
I've descovered a problem with the Teufel DecoderStation. :( Whenever there's a silence and it loses the audio signal there's a quite click noise when it picks up the signal again. After it picks up the signal again it takes about half a second before the audio starts playing. This means that on some tracks you miss the first half a second of music. It's not very noticeable but now that I heard it I can't unhear it and I notice it every time it happens. Teufel offer a 2 month trial period so it'll be going back soon and I'll stick with the Yamaha AVR instead.
Morning steve,

Can you expand on that? When and how that happens?

I stream 90+% of my music from Spotify, how does this affect streaming?
Morning. :)

When connected to a PC via the optical input whenever it loses or picks up an audio stream (for example when a streamed video on the net finishes, at the start of a music album or occasionally in between each track on a few albums) there is a quiet click. When this click happens it is followed by about half a second of silence before any audio starts playing again meaning it occasionally misses on the first part of the first note when a song starts playing. Very irritating!

Shame because it's a nice bit of kit otherwise.

I'll give it a try with Spotify later and report back.

UPDATE - Yes it happens with Spotify too.
Scheisse, that is really dumb.

Have you spoken to Teufel? Maybe it is a 'going to sleep' issue and adjustable.
Just tried that. It was previously set to 30 mins and has now been disabled but the problem still persists.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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0
steve_1979 said:
davedotco said:
steve_1979 said:
davedotco said:
steve_1979 said:
I've descovered a problem with the Teufel DecoderStation. :( Whenever there's a silence and it loses the audio signal there's a quite click noise when it picks up the signal again. After it picks up the signal again it takes about half a second before the audio starts playing. This means that on some tracks you miss the first half a second of music. It's not very noticeable but now that I heard it I can't unhear it and I notice it every time it happens. Teufel offer a 2 month trial period so it'll be going back soon and I'll stick with the Yamaha AVR instead.
Morning steve,

Can you expand on that? When and how that happens?

I stream 90+% of my music from Spotify, how does this affect streaming?
Morning. :)

When connected to a PC via the optical input whenever it loses or picks up an audio stream (for example when a streamed video on the net finishes, at the start of a music album or occasionally in between each track on a few albums) there is a quiet click. When this click happens it is followed by about half a second of silence before any audio starts playing again meaning it occasionally misses on the first part of the first note when a song starts playing. Very irritating!

Shame because it's a nice bit of kit otherwise.

I'll give it a try with Spotify later and report back.

UPDATE - Yes it happens with Spotify too.
Scheisse, that is really dumb.

Have you spoken to Teufel? Maybe it is a 'going to sleep' issue and adjustable.
Just tried that. It was previously set to 30 mins and has now been disabled but the problem still persists.
This suggests that the product is actually 'unfit for purpose'. I find it odd that any product suffering from such an issue actually makes it to the marketplace....*unknw*
 
Jul 10, 2014
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0
Guess it's mainly designed for use in home cinema/home theater applications, as the model name and multichannel capability suggests, and so is happier with one long digital stream it can lock to and stay locked, rather than lots of different short tracks as you get in music, which will have it unlocking at the end of each track, then re-establishing digital lock when the next track starts.

Mind you, if it does drop sound when tracks change, that could be a problem when playing movie discs on some BD/DVD players, which can drop signal momentarily when changing layers on the disc mid-movie. It's something better players get round with buffering.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
davedotco said:
steve_1979 said:
davedotco said:
steve_1979 said:
davedotco said:
steve_1979 said:
I've descovered a problem with the Teufel DecoderStation. :( Whenever there's a silence and it loses the audio signal there's a quite click noise when it picks up the signal again. After it picks up the signal again it takes about half a second before the audio starts playing. This means that on some tracks you miss the first half a second of music. It's not very noticeable but now that I heard it I can't unhear it and I notice it every time it happens. Teufel offer a 2 month trial period so it'll be going back soon and I'll stick with the Yamaha AVR instead.
Morning steve,

Can you expand on that? When and how that happens?

I stream 90+% of my music from Spotify, how does this affect streaming?
Morning. :)

When connected to a PC via the optical input whenever it loses or picks up an audio stream (for example when a streamed video on the net finishes, at the start of a music album or occasionally in between each track on a few albums) there is a quiet click. When this click happens it is followed by about half a second of silence before any audio starts playing again meaning it occasionally misses on the first part of the first note when a song starts playing. Very irritating!

Shame because it's a nice bit of kit otherwise.

I'll give it a try with Spotify later and report back.

UPDATE - Yes it happens with Spotify too.
Scheisse, that is really dumb.

Have you spoken to Teufel? Maybe it is a 'going to sleep' issue and adjustable.
Just tried that. It was previously set to 30 mins and has now been disabled but the problem still persists.
This suggests that the product is actually 'unfit for purpose'. I find it odd that any product suffering from such an issue actually makes it to the marketplace....*unknw*
I agree.

I have the Mk2 version but based on the Amazon reviews the Mk1 version had a few other issues too.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
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18,795
Just contacted Teufel and they've arranged for a replacement. They said that it's not a known issue so fingers crossed they're right because I'd like to keep it because apart from this issue it's perfect for my needs in every other respect.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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steve_1979 said:
Just contacted Teufel and they've arranged for a replacement. They said that it's not a known issue so fingers crossed they're right because I'd like to keep it because apart from this issue it's perfect for my needs in every other respect.
That's pretty decent service. Do let us know what happens.
 

bluedroog

New member
Mar 4, 2010
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I've just been given a pair of KRK Rokit 10-3 actives, didn't get them home till late so didn't get much time with them last night so itching to get home, I have heard them in their previous home but the person who gave them to me had one stacked on the other on the floor and just used them for DJ'ing. They are pretty large three way monitors with 10" bass driver, they go pretty deep and loud from memory. Given the price point, emphasis on bass and brightly coloured yellow cones they are clearly aimed at a younger and or electronic / hip hop market but should be a lot of fun.

I was also given a Numark NS7 DJ'ing thingamajig which has balanced outputs and presumably DAC on board as it has a USB in and a load of buttons, dials, sliders and flashy lights....That was all a bit much for me to work out last night so I hooked it up to my Croft 25 valve preamp using unbalanced RCA (which was a bit of a struggle with the short lengths, a Croft preamp and Rokit monitors aren't the most obvious marriage! While they may not be as refined as some more expensive monitors they are clearly good value for money and my poor trusty Quad 909 sat redundant costing more than a pair of these monstrous active three way monitors. I look forward to having a proper listen tonight.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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bluedroog said:
I've just been given a pair of KRK Rokit 10-3 actives, didn't get them home till late so didn't get much time with them last night so itching to get home, I have heard them in their previous home but the person who gave them to me had one stacked on the other on the floor and just used them for DJ'ing. They are pretty large three way monitors with 10" bass driver, they go pretty deep and loud from memory. Given the price point, emphasis on bass and brightly coloured yellow cones they are clearly aimed at a younger and or electronic / hip hop market but should be a lot of fun.

I was also given a Numark NS7 DJ'ing thingamajig which has balanced outputs and presumably DAC on board as it has a USB in and a load of buttons, dials, sliders and flashy lights....That was all a bit much for me to work out last night so I hooked it up to my Croft 25 valve preamp using unbalanced RCA (which was a bit of a struggle with the short lengths, a Croft preamp and Rokit monitors aren't the most obvious marriage! While they may not be as refined as some more expensive monitors they are clearly good value for money and my poor trusty Quad 909 sat redundant costing more than a pair of these monstrous active three way monitors. I look forward to having a proper listen tonight.
Wow, that is some freebie.

Typically KRK's Rockit series speakers do what it says on the tin, they rock......*dance4*

Not great allrounders, they are a bit 'american', a bit forthright and bold but if you can set them up in a bit of space they will be great fun.

I have mentioned many times that I always liked to have a set up, separate from my normal system, that can really rock 'n roll and these seem perfect.
 

bluedroog

New member
Mar 4, 2010
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Well had a bit more time with the KRK Rokit 10-3 tonight, as I said, they're a lot of fun and could be a great buy for many people. I started with London Grammar and they sounded very good, very open, female vocals sounded great. My room is quite small and boundary walls are close so I knocked the bass back a notched.

Next up tried some elecro, Claude Von Stroke, not surprisngly the excelled, bass is very good for the money, these would make great party speakers, I can see why they're popular with amatuer DJs.

Next I tried some Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas which is a very well produced album, Leonard's deep voice agaIn was good but overall the music lacked a little excitment through the KRKs, there was nothing wrong, it just wasn't playing to their strengths.

Lastly I tried some Bach to see how they coped, hmmmm again a little bland but I suspect they'd be better with some full orhcestral stuff.

Now for similar money you could get some very different actives such as AVI DM5s which I'd imagine sound more refined, more detaled but of course can't touch these monsters for scale and bass but honestly if I were a young man on a budget and in to big bassy music than these would be a a solid purchase, if you spend similar money (£800 from a quick look) o a passive set up you may just about be able to equal them in terms of quality but no where near on this scale.

My speakers (B&W 602 S2) are pretty budget but better the KRKs for music like Leonard Cohen but the actives give little away and the scale of these actives is great fun which really excel with some music. I'm keeping the Rokits in place for now but they've left me itching to get something like the Opals.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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Bluedroog,

Largely what I would expect. As I said earlier the Rockits are a bit 'rock and roll' so a lack of refinement is probably their one real weakness.

The sense of power, punch and scale is something else though, ridiculously so for the price. What you are describing is why I suggest speakers of this type to posters looking for something with more impact on dance, drum n bass and similar material.

Sadly few people step outside of the comfort zone that is their local Sevenoaks or Richers so never get to hear the options, shame really.
 

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