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Sony CD3000 Thread - Page 14

post #196 of 385
How much did you pay for? $1758 is ridiculus, My modded SA5000 is the best!
-
If you can do modding dampening, you can probably make it sound better than R10, get new earpads or just peel off those flacky pleathers.
The problem is that inside the plastic walls aren't dampened and causing soundwave inner-reflections, these reflections are coming through the front air felts thus creating pierching treble.
I have modded the SA5000, the pierching treble are gone leaving beautiful smooth crispy balanced SQ, this will fix the CD3000 too:
3bd62550_IMG_20150411_145943.jpeg

http://www.head-fi.org/t/128397/the-sony-mdr-sa5000-appreciation-thread/285
post #197 of 385

I have no idea re where did you get this figure from, but anyway I’ve paid less.  Besides CD3000 I’ve got HE90 (the Orpheus), 2 pairs of SR-Omega (the original Omegas not the 007), 009, both types or R10 (bass-heavy and bass-light), two types of 007 (including the 70xxx drivers) and some other nice headphones and few different amps for them (including the “no limits” custom made “Demograf” for estats).  So I have some minor idea re cans’ sound ;)

post #198 of 385
Thread Starter 
Long Post Warning!!


Greetings CD3000 fans! I thought you might be interested in hearing about my experiences in modifying the CD3000. I bought the CD3000 about 13 years ago, and began modifying them about 7 years ago - with most of the mods done in this last year. The sound quality I am getting now from my most recent mod is at a very high level - far above the stock phones. These inexpensive mods are really just simple experiments with new cables and headphone plugs. I'm not an audio expert by any means, but my theory is that the unique CD3000 biocellulose drivers are actually capable of much higher audio quality than is heard in the stock phones, and that my recabling mods are just removing bottlenecks and allowing that quality to be revealed. It could also be that I just happen to have exceptional samples of the drivers, but I think that is unlikely. I am continuing to experiment, but at this point my CD3000's just sound fantastic, so I probably won't be deviating too much from what I've already done. I'll describe here what I did, as well as some brief listening comparisons with other modern headphones, which I haven't kept up with till now. Maybe all this has been done before, I don't know. If so, I haven't read about it. Please don't rush off and mod your headphones based on what I did, at least not without careful consideration. I'd hate to see someone ruin their perfectly fine (and irreplaceable) CD3000's. Keep in mind that my CD3000's were near death anyway when I attempted these mods.

I loved the CD3000 from the first day I owned it. The great soundstage, instrument separation, detail, dynamics, etc. were beyond anything else I'd heard for the price. The construction quality however, wasn't the best. Over the years, they felt increasingly flimsy and the PU leather got very ratty. About 7 years ago, I got the urge to experiment. In my larger stereo system, I noticed that silver-plated speaker cables sounded much better than just copper alone at the same gauge, so I thought the same might be true of headphones. I replaced the stock headphone cable with 22 awg silver plated wire (the mil spec stuff, 19 strand I think). In this first mod, I did not replace the cable all the way to the drivers, but left an inch or two of the old cable. This was mostly due to my soldering inexperience at the time - I was afraid of damaging the drivers. The stock plug was replaced with the popular 3.5mm neutrik variant. Sound quality improved across the board - more clarity all around and better bass were the first things I noticed. I was happy with this mod for years, in spite of the increasingly ratty appearance of my CD3000.

Unfortunately, about a year ago, the headband assembly gave up the ghost. No amount of quick fixes/duct tape would hold it together anymore. I actually considered throwing the whole headphone out and shopping around for something new, but I couldn't find anything I liked as much (and still can't). I couldn't even buy a new pair since I found out they were discontinued and rarely even show up on ebay. So... I spent some time designing a new headband, and figuring out how to make lambskin earpads, etc. I wanted to build something durable enough to last for many years, as well as something comfortable, attractive, and personal. A good deal of trial and error is involved to get what you want, but for me it's worth it. The drivers are at least as good as the day I bought them, so I expect them to last virtually forever with care. The earcups and plastic assemblies housing the drivers are scuffed and worn, but still completely functional and pretty tough. They can be dressed up, painted, covered with cloth, lambskin or whatever you like. As long as the drivers and their plastic housings are fully functional, you still have a diamond in the rough.

Anyway, while doing all this, I decided to experiment with the cabling again. In my larger speaker system, I found that using thicker gauge speaker wire resulted in fuller and richer sound, all else being equal. I suspected this might also be true for headphones too, so I replaced the 22 awg wire with 20 awg (mil spec silver plated again), using the same neutrik plug. This time I went all the way to the drivers and used a shorter length (5ft), since most of my listening is in bed with a tablet and portable dacs/amps, and I could always make an extension cable if I needed it. At this gauge, the cable becomes noticeably stiffer and less flexible, even when braided, but I could live with it because it was shorter. There was actually a break-in period of about 2 days over which the sound quality gradually improved, which surprised me. But once again, the improvement was obvious. Increased clarity and detail, grander and richer sound, better and more detailed bass. With this mod however, the whole character of the CD3000 began to change a bit. I had always felt that the CD3000 had a slightly separate treble, midrange, and bass - each with their own sonic characteristics. Almost like 3 separate headphones in one. With this mod however, that distinction began to disappear. The sound was presented to me more as a coherent unified whole. Vocals and small acoustic ensembles began to take on a more life-like presence, as if they were in the room performing for me. All this was wonderful, but minor compared to the next mod.

In this mod, I decided to completely rewire the CD3000 internally with 18 awg pure (.99995) solid silver wire (extra soft temper). Some audiophiles claim that solid silver makes the best possible speaker wire, so I thought maybe it would also work for headphones. It's expensive, but 5ft at $40 did the job for internal wiring only. I wanted this to be the last time I take a soldering iron to those precious drivers. I can still replace the headphone cable, but the internal silver wiring will stay, because I can't really improve on it. BTW, 18 awg is about the thickest wire you can fit into the earcups without redrilling holes. I considered changing the wiring to allow separate exit cables from each earcup as many have done, but the comfort factor of a single wire won out - especially with thick gauge cables that I don't want laying on my chest. I also thought about installing a jack so I could quickly change cables, but I didn't want to worry about the audio quality of 2 more connectors. The best connector is no connector, but I had to have at least one plug. And with all the improved wiring and resolving power, I can definitely "hear" the quality of the plug (more on that below). For the headphone cable, I went up to 18 awg silver plated copper, mil spec again, 5ft length again (which is actually 3 wires or 15ft total). It was cheap on eBay at something like $15 for 30ft. At this gauge, the cable is quite thick and stiff, even though it is stranded and braided. I used a braided cotton cable wrap, but I think just plain smooth Teflon would have been better since cotton tends to fray. I may also try silk.

I tried many 3.5mm plugs in this configuration. I was surprised at first that a plug would make much of a difference, but at this level of sound quality, it really does. With all the high quality wiring, the plug becomes the bottleneck or limiting factor in the headphone system. A mediocre plug can ruin the sound quality. The "MPS Curve" was the first plug I tried, and one of the best. It is a large plug with an expansive rich sound, and the deepest and most detailed bass of all the plugs I tried. On the downside, the tip is slightly too long and doesn't fit properly in some jacks, which is a big problem for me. Another excellent plug is the basic "Yarbo". It has rich, detailed, and perfectly balanced sound. I also have different MPS and Yarbo models on order to try later. I don't know why these plugs sound better - like many plugs, they're just gold plated brass. They are inexpensive, at about $5 each. Neutrik plugs don't sound quite as good as the MPS and Yarbo, but are still decent - the new large 3.5mm sounding a little better than the standard one. Most of the other plugs I tried did not live to their hype or elevated price. Some were advertised as silver plated or "tellurium copper", but sounded mediocre at best. Out of curiosity, I may try some 1/4" plugs. I'll need to use an adapter with them most of the time though, and that will only degrade the sound quality.

The configuration I'm using now has the 18 awg solid silver internal wiring, 18 awg silver plated headphone cable (5ft), and the Yarbo plug. It didn't sound that great when I first plugged it in. It took a few days to break-in, and then just kept getting better and better. Now the sound is just magnificent, and far above the stock CD3000's. The whole character of the headphone is different. The modified headphones still have the same great soundstage and dynamics of the stock CD3000's, but there is a grander scale, and a deeper richness and refinement to the sound. The 3-separate-headphones problem is gone and replaced with a seamlessly coherent and unified soundstage that seems perfectly balanced across all frequencies. There is greater clarity and resolving power, quite noticeable in analytical details, but also expressed as life-like realism in acoustic music. Vocals and small acoustic ensembles are amazing. I have been fooled several times into thinking that sounds came from around me, rather than from my headphones. Everything sounds more alive. I've had these headphones for 13 years, and I'm listening to them more than I ever have! It's becoming an addiction.

I finally got a chance yesterday to stop by World Wide Stereo and briefly audition a few modern headphones that I haven't heard before. And I do mean *briefly* - I only had time for a few minutes per headphone, so these comparisons are not fair at all, but they do give me a general idea of what's out there now. I listened to the Audeze EL8, LCD2, LCD3, and the Senn HD800. I had nothing with me, so I used their auditioning amp. I don't know what brand it was (no visible name), but it looked like some kind of tube-ss hybrid. The music was from a Tchaikovsky CD. The first headphone was the EL8 (open back, I think). I only listened to this one for a minute. It's a nice headphone, but not on the level of the stock CD3000, and probably several notches below it. Clarity and dynamics just weren't there for me like the CD3000. Next up was the HD800. The HD800 sounded strange, but I think it wasn't matched up properly with the amp. It had a large airy soundstage, very good detail, and it seemed like a very refined headphone with a lot of potential, but it seemed blocked by something - probably the amp. There was a strange overall cupped-hand quality to the sound, and some weird distortion. Something was wrong. I need to come back again and give it proper audition. Next up was the LCD3. OK, this is a very good headphone, and the first I've come across that has even a vaguely similar character to the CD3000. Detail and bass are very good. The overall tone is a little on the dark side, whereas the CD3000 is more neutral. The perspective is also different - when listening to a symphony, you feel as if you are in the back of the theater, whereas the CD3000 is mid-to-front. It does seem to have a little bit of that 3-headphones-in-one problem I mentioned earlier. The modified CD3000 is more seamless in character from bass to treble. I also feel that the modified CD3000 has greater resolution, and is more life-like. With the LCD3, you hear the music from a distance, whereas the modified CD3000 involves you in all its detailed glory. The LCD3 has very good bass, but I don't think it beats the modified CD3000. I think the modified CD3000 with the MPS plug actually beats the LCD3 in bass. For comfort, I found the LCD3 a bit heavy and a bit too tight, but it's not a showstopper. The CD3000 is lighter, and I hope to make my finished CD3000 even lighter than stock. Next up was the LCD2. I was running out of time here, so I only listened for a minute. It's similar to the LCD3. In this short time period, I couldn't hear that much of a difference. If memory serves, the LCD2 was slightly more forward sounding and slightly less detailed.

The LCD3 is no slouch - it's a great headphone. It probably beats the stock CD3000 - better detail, bass, construction, and more. It will appeal to someone who likes their sound more laid back from a distance, and is probably very non-fatiguing for extended listening. However, from my brief listen so far, I think my modified CD3000 has substantially better overall sound than the LCD3. It's simply a more life-like, engaging, enjoyable headphone. That's how I felt upon leaving the stereo shop. That impression may change on the next visit though, with my own DAC/amp and modified CD3000 with me.


To simplify and summarize, these were the essential heuristics guiding my mods:

1. Replace headphone wiring with as much silver as possible, at the largest gauge possible (I've hit my gauge limit at 18 awg)

2. Try different headphone connectors (quality becomes audible with No.1 above)



Future mods I am considering:

1. Replace the silver plated headphone cable with pure silver. This will be more expensive, but may be worth it after the huge improvement I heard upon replacing the headphone internal wiring with pure silver.

2. Try more headphone plugs.



That's all for now! I hope you enjoyed all this and found it useful.


-Jeff
Edited by GeoffW - 6/6/15 at 1:55am
post #199 of 385
Yes, cable material/length/connector have great influence on the sound transparancy, poor quality muffled.

You still can get the synthetic "last porous" improved "biocellose" diaphragm SA3000, do the damping mod and it'll sound "lifelike" better than the CD3000 that sound comes from "far" distance.

Used SA3000 on ebay from $220 bidding:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-MDR-SA3000-Headphones-/191595525449



You can still improve the CD3000 SQ to get rid the "raw restless"mids/treble caused inner reflections with internal wall damping.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/128397/the-sony-mdr-sa5000-appreciation-thread/289

I havent mod my CD3000 yet as Im enjoying the SA5000, so that comes later.
post #200 of 385
Thread Starter 
I did experiment with various types of damping in my first mod. It seemed to help with the slightly flabby bass, which I thought was the biggest weakness of the stock CD3000. However, after my second mod, the bass was totally cleaned up - tight, detailed, and beautiful. At that point any damping took away too much detail from both bass and treble, as well as decrease the potency of the bass, so I removed it. I did NOT remove the circular foam that comes with the stock CD3000. That will allow too much reverberation, and everything will sound muddy and confused. I would also be reluctant to change the earcups to any other material (such woodies), for fear that it would negatively impact the sound. In fact, I'm even concerned about painting the earcups, or covering them with lambskin - one of which I will eventually do
post #201 of 385

Jeff, as someone who redid their CD3000s with lambskin and also tinkered with cables themselves, I'm interested in seeing pictures of your mods! They sound fabulous. :D Did you manage to "reupholster" your headphones as you had described? Now, I changed out the cable of my headphones long ago after some unfortunate damage. I've modded my headphones to use a detachable cable-fully reversible. When you mention that you use silver as the internal wiring, do you mean to say you've also worked in a detachable cable modification, or are you meaning the wire that runs along the headband between both ear cups?

I'm quite curious about this, and I'd love to see pictures of your work!

post #202 of 385

Hey peeps,

 

Requesting help on fixing this legend. A while ago I had the chance to buy a ''project CD3000''. Previous owner had already worked on the headband/suspension strap but in my opinion needed and still needs a rework. To get to the point, is there anyone out there who greatly enjoys DIY but is also experienced and confident he can succesfully finish the project according to this guide? Ideally someone based in Europe. International shipment tax hits back and forth are uninteresting.

 

I made it as far as step 8 cleaning the drivers. Third party earpad replacements are also in place. What's left to be done is A> replacing headband/suspension strap material and B> reapplying foam over and around the drivers. If it has to be I could take care of the foam job myself.

 

I'm not in a hurry and will be picky who I'm trusting the headphone to.. if ever there's going to be hero to stand up in the first place :rolleyes: PM me and we'll talk details. Thanks in advance.


Edited by moriez - 8/7/15 at 1:52am
post #203 of 385

Anyone know of a pair available? I know someone posted in the FS section about a pair and they are pending a sale with someone else, so I was wondering, sine I have MDR-CD850's, can I purchase a pair of SA3000's and put the driver in my MDR-CD850's and make a frankenstein sorta thing? I want the CD3000's but I doubt I can find the drivers. IF anyone can help me track down these things, I'd love to find them. 

 

Again, I have Sony MDR-CD850's and want to find drivers to make them sing like the CD1000 or CD3000 but do not know where I can track down drivers these days or any pairs of things that can go with them.

post #204 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenman345 View Post

Anyone know of a pair available? I know someone posted in the FS section about a pair and they are pending a sale with someone else, so I was wondering, sine I have MDR-CD850's, can I purchase a pair of SA3000's and put the driver in my MDR-CD850's and make a frankenstein sorta thing? I want the CD3000's but I doubt I can find the drivers. IF anyone can help me track down these things, I'd love to find them. 

Again, I have Sony MDR-CD850's and want to find drivers to make them sing like the CD1000 or CD3000 but do not know where I can track down drivers these days or any pairs of things that can go with them.
What do you really want! CD3000, SA3000 or 50mm drivers to fit in? Did you ever open the hp to look inside?
It doesn't make sense to rip higher-end drivers to fit in a crappy CD850!

Sometimes they are on ebay like now or on amazon SA3/5000:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-mdr-cd3000-/171888745228?hash=item28055e1b0c


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-MDR-SA5000-Headband-Headphones-VERY-RARE-SUPER-AUDIO-STUDIO-HEADPHONES-/191654328730?hash=item2c9f7cf99a

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SONY-MDR-SA3000-DJ-Stereo-Headphones-MDRSA3000-/370810481549?hash=item565606eb8d

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR-SA3000-Headphones-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B0007N55KU
---
And NO SA3000 drivers don't fit in CD850 as they use a screw-on driver construction, where-else CD850/1000/3000 use a ring clip-on construction.
I did put the ZX700 plastic diap. 50mm same screw-on construstucted drivers into the SA3000 sounds acceptable plasticish "very" good for portable media DAP,Android,ipad etc.:
900x900px-LL-59b549b2_2hqxnac.jpeg
---
If you want "very" cheap 50mm replacement drivers and NO they can't sing like CD3000, you'll need to DIY dremel cut/mod and glue the drivers in place.
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-DRZX701IP-Monitor-Headphones-iPhone/dp/B005MIIZ3E (same ZX700 drivers with lower priced hp, plastic diaphragm)
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/50MM-unit-speaker-Wearing-a-silk-wool-composite-cone-diaphragm-unit-DIY-headset-accessories/923848_2045034643.html
Probably these silk (porous?) diaphragm can sound better than plastics:

---
If you insist (have money and availbilty) to have the ultimate endgame sounding hp, then the close back/damping modded SA3000/SA5000 (see top) is the best improved evolution of the biocellulose porous diaphragm.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/128397/the-sony-mdr-sa5000-appreciation-thread/289

I own these SONY's evolving generations hp series and only the modded SA3000/SA5000 with porous diaphragm is the Best 3D lifelike surround sounding hp ever.
--
SONY CD555 - Titanium evaporated plastic mylar/PET diaphragm - metal face plate.
SONY CD999 - Saffier evaporated plastic mylar/PET diaphragm - metal face plate.
SONY CD1000 - Revolutionary Biocellulose porous diaphragm - metal face plate.
SONY CD3000 - Revolutionary Biocellulose porous diaphragm - metal face plate.
SONY SA3000 - Full synthetic Nano-Composite "Biocellulose" porous diaphragm - open plastic frame face plate.
SONY SA5000 - Full synthetic Nano-Composite "Biocellulose" porous diaphragm - open plastic frame face plate.
SONY ZX700 - Plain plastic mylar/PET diaphragm - open plastic frame face plate.
--
Plastic non-porous diaphragm can never sound lifelike airy as porous diaphragm, only porous diap can reproduce the finer transients rustling/sizzling/airy/ambiance/reverb etc. sound lifelikely, where plastic diap can't even able to hear or very coursely plasticky, rigidly sounding.

The only biggest flaw of the CD3000/CD1000 driver was the metal face plate that covers 50% of the diap. and induce "metalic" sounding artifacts, because the sound reflection back against the metal.
--
SONY learned the lesson and from SA series they use the open front frame diaphragm.

CD3000 metal face plate, corrupts the flow of the biocellulose porous diaphragm:
61026b76_SonyMDR-CD3000driver.jpeg

900x900px-LL-5ff1c930_SonyMDR-CD3000driver.jpeg

CD850/1000/3000 50mm clip-on driver construction:
350x345px-d78c84a9_SonyMDR-CD1000driverbackside.jpeg

SA3000/5000 improved ultimate porous drivers and open front frame:
40de31a1_SonySA5000driver.jpeg

Crappy newest gen. backstep Sony MDR Z7 with 70mm plastic/liquid crystal non-porous diap.
900x900px-LL-c5b06b60_image.jpeg
Edited by cdsa35000 - 8/12/15 at 8:16am
post #205 of 385

Okay, so I have acquired the CD3000 and I have the CD850 (both in the mail/coming to me shortly). I am wanting to go dual exit when I reterminate them, and was thinking, should I maybe consider adding a resistor inside each cup to bump up the impedance on these sensitive headphones? 

 

Has anyone done that already?

post #206 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by moriez View Post
 

Hey peeps,

 

Requesting help on fixing this legend. A while ago I had the chance to buy a ''project CD3000''. Previous owner had already worked on the headband/suspension strap but in my opinion needed and still needs a rework. To get to the point, is there anyone out there who greatly enjoys DIY but is also experienced and confident he can succesfully finish the project according to this guide? Ideally someone based in Europe. International shipment tax hits back and forth are uninteresting.

 

I made it as far as step 8 cleaning the drivers. Third party earpad replacements are also in place. What's left to be done is A> replacing headband/suspension strap material and B> reapplying foam over and around the drivers. If it has to be I could take care of the foam job myself.

 

I'm not in a hurry and will be picky who I'm trusting the headphone to.. if ever there's going to be hero to stand up in the first place :rolleyes: PM me and we'll talk details. Thanks in advance.

What material are you using? were you able to find the exact type that is in the guide? I am not sure if my pair will need cleaning and what did you use as a suction?

post #207 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenman345 View Post

Okay, so I have acquired the CD3000 and I have the CD850 (both in the mail/coming to me shortly). I am wanting to go dual exit when I reterminate them, and was thinking, should I maybe consider adding a resistor inside each cup to bump up the impedance on these sensitive headphones? 

Has anyone done that already?
Very simple, if you hear amp. hiss then yes add resistor, if not then not.
I have done with the ZX700 that was way more sensitive with 24 Ohms imp. and hear hissing.
Quote:
MDR-ZX700 Specs
Driver Unit: 50mm, closed, dynamic, dome type
Magnet Type: High-energy Neodymium (360kJ/m³)
Headphone Type:
Circum Aural, Over the Head Monitor
Impedance: 24 ohms at 1kHz
Sensitivity (db): 106dB/mW
Power Handling Capacity: 2000mW
So I add only 1 resistor to the incoming common earth line, no inbalance problems when using separate resistors to L/R plus lines.
The L earthline shared/goes to R earthline, so add resistor from the incoming earth line and the L earth solderpad.


I added an ordinary carbon film 10 Ohms 1/4 W resistor, making it from 24 Ohms to 34 Ohms.
Now it sounds perfectly lower normalized balanced volume without (hearable) hiss, carbon film res. smoothen probably better analogish SQ than metal film resistor, if you want more (digital) clearity then use metal film.
You can add 10 Ohms steps to the CD3000 to which is the best sensitive/hiss level. SA3000/5000 have 70 Ohms impedance, still has good enough volume with portable gear.
Edited by cdsa35000 - 8/13/15 at 9:47am
post #208 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdsa35000 View Post


Very simple, if you hear amp. hiss then yes add resistor, if not then not.
I have done with the ZX700 that was way more sensitive with 24 Ohms imp. and hear hissing.
So I add only 1 resistor to the incoming common earth line, no inbalance problems when using separate resistors to L/R plus lines.
The L earthline shared/goes to R earthline, so add resistor from the incoming earth line and the L earth solderpad.


I added an ordinary carbon film 10 Ohms 1/4 W resistor, making it from 24 Ohms to 34 Ohms.
Now it sounds perfectly lower normalized balanced volume without (hearable) hiss, carbon film res. smoothen probably better analogish SQ than metal film resistor, if you want more (digital) clearity then use metal film.
You can add 10 Ohms steps to the CD3000 to which is the best sensitive/hiss level. SA3000/5000 have 70 Ohms impedance, still has good enough volume with portable gear.

I was thinking about doing dual exit headphone jacks on the cups, (1 exit per cup). This way I could add resistance to the cable I am using and match cables to amps.

post #209 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenman345 View Post

I was thinking about doing dual exit headphone jacks on the cups, (1 exit per cup). This way I could add resistance to the cable I am using and match cables to amps.
In that case solder 1 resistor in jack plug to the common ground/earth line, the jack plug can screw open: ground wire> resistor> ground pole plug.

http://www.howtogeek.com/62999/how-to-replace-a-stereo-connector-and-salvage-audio-cables-and-headphones/
post #210 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdsa35000 View Post


In that case solder 1 resistor in jack plug to the common ground/earth line, the jack plug can screw open: ground wire> resistor> ground pole plug.

http://www.howtogeek.com/62999/how-to-replace-a-stereo-connector-and-salvage-audio-cables-and-headphones/

dont fret, I shall make sure I do the best for what I need. I will test them out on my gear first, then proceed. I can always incorporate resistors on an extension cable if needed at a later point. 

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