Schiit Audio Ragnarok

General Information

Ragnarok is the first truly universal amplifier, fully capable of powering everything from IEMs to loudspeakers. With up to 100 watts per channel into 4 ohms, 3 selectable gains, a sophisticated relay-switched stepped attenuator volume control, complete microprocessor management of all operational points, including bias and DC offset, and Schiit’s Crossfet™ circlotron-style output topology, Ragnarok completely befits its name—in Norse legend, Ragnarok was the “end of the world.”

From IEMs to Loudspeakers
Go ahead. Plug in your sensitive headphones and set Ragnarok’s gain to 1. You’ll enjoy a silent background, and the fine control that a 64-step attenuator can provide. Or run it with the most power-hungry orthos you know. With gain set at 20, and 15W RMS into 32 ohms, you’re ready for an amazing performance. Speakers? No problem. With 60W per channel into 8 ohms, Ragnarok delivers amazing performance with most popular speakers.

A Complete Integrated Amp
Ragnarok includes 5 relay-switched inputs—two balanced and three single-ended, as well as balanced and single-ended preamp outputs for use as a preamp. For outputs, both balanced and single-ended outputs are provided for headphones, and balanced speaker terminal outputs for loudspeakers.

Nothing In the Signal Path Except Signal
Ragnarok is an "intelligent" amplifier, using a microprocessor to oversee every aspect of its operation—from quiescent bias, to DC offset, to complete fault protection. It’s also designed so that any major problem mutes all the outputs and reverts the amp to its low-gain, zero volume mode. This means we can dispense with coupling caps and DC servos entirely, for a gain stage that has nothing in the signal path—except for your music.

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1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Power for days, can play very nicely with sensitive c/iems, inputs/outputs galore, extremely transparent sound, solid build, wonderful looks,
Cons: loud clicking noise when adjusting volume (it's supposed to do that however [attenuation]), bottom does get hot (not what people make it out to be thiug)

This beautiful beast (and please take that word seriously) of a product is one that I was rather surprised to be humbled with an opportunity to review. You see, while trying to get some interest and vendors to attend or show interest in the audio meet I was putting together I reached out to Schiit on just a pure whim and hope. And my goodness am I glad I did for they were such an incredible pleasure to work with. The representative I spoke to was full of energy and had a very splendid attitude and sense of humor (quite befitting of a company called Schiit). Anywho’s, she mentioned that they would be glad to send us their Schiit Kit once it was finished with another audio meet being held just prior to mine and even offered to send us their flagship products with the Ragnarok of course being the amp. So to say I was overjoyed and honored would be a vast understatement. But with the introductions aside, please allow me to now give my thoughts and impressions on the headphone/speaker amplifier that has taken root in a many of totl end game setups.

A little about me

I would like to say that first and foremost I am NOT an “audiophile” but rather an audio enthusiast. I listen to music to enjoy it. Do I prefer a lossless source? Yes, of course. But I can still be very happy streaming from Pandora or even my YouTube “My Mix” playlist. I also prefer equipment that sounds the best to me personally regardless of what frequency response it has or rather or not it's “sonically accurate” and I always have and shall continue to encourage others to do the same.

I'm a firefighter for both the civilian and military sector and the cliché of wanting to do this since I was born couldn't be more present with me. I've worked hard over the last several years to earn this position and now it's time for me to work even harder to keep it.

My interests/hobbies are powerlifting, fishing and relaxing to audio products and reviewing them to help other decide on what products would work for them. Few things make me as an audio enthusiast/review feel more accomplished than when someone tells me that I helped them find the type of sound they've always been looking for.

Now, the sound signature I personally favor is a relaxing, warm and sensual sound that just drifts me away in the emotional experience of the music being performed. Yes, accuracy is still important but I will happily sacrifice some of that if I'm presented with a clean, warm sound that can wisp me away into an experience that makes me yearn for more.

My ideal signature are that of respectably forward mids and upper bass range with the bass being controlled but with some slight decay. I like my treble to have nice extension and detail reveal with a smooth roll off up top as to not become harsh in the least. Examples of products that have given me chills and keep giving me the yearning for more feels are the (in no particular order) Bowers & Wilkins P7, Oppo PM-1/2, Empire Ears Hermes VI & Zeus XIV, Audeze LCD-XC, Meze Headphones 99 Classics.

Equipment used at least some point during the review



-HD800 S


-Hifiman HE560




-Fostex/Massdrop TH-X00

-Empire Ears Hermes VI

-Focal Clear

-Oppo PM-1


-PS Audio Digital Link III w/ Cullen Stage 4 upgrade

-Schiit Yggdrasil

-iFi Micro iDAC2


-LG V20/HP Pavilion

-Playing Pandora, YouTube, and various format personal music

-Microsoft Pro Tablet


I am by no means sponsored by this company or any of its affiliates. They were kind enough to send me a product for an arranged amount of time in exchange for my honest opinion. I am making no monetary compensation for this review.

The following is my take on the product being reviewed. It is to be taken “with a grain of salt” per say and as I always tell people, it is YOUR opinion that matters. So regardless of my take or view on said product, I highly recommend you listen to it yourself and gauge your own opinion.

The Opening Experience

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Why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience

Please allow me to explain why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience with a product. Maybe it’s due to my southern roots in the hills of eastern Kentucky, but I’ve always been raised under the pretense of when you introduce yourself to someone for the first time you present yourself with confidence, class, character, pride, and competence. You greet the other person with a true warm smile, eye contact and a firm handshake. Anything less or short implies to other person that you either don’t care about them, are too full of yourself, too busy to be bothered by the likes of them, or worse, just generally disrespectful.

As a consumer, I take this same belief to when I open a new product. Why? Because think about it this way. How else can a company introduce themselves to their customers? How do they present their products? Are they packaged with pride and presented in such a way that makes the listener eager to listen to them? Or maybe they’re just wrapped up and placed in an available space. How about the box itself? Is it bogged down with jargon that says look at this, look what I can do. I’m better than anything on the market and here’s why read this and check out that. Or, is the package clean, simplistic and classy? As if saying to the customer ‘Good day, pleasure to meet your acquaintance. Please give me a listen and allow me to show you what I can do and allow my actions to speak louder than my words.’

This is why I feel so strongly about the initial presentation of a product, and I feel it’s truly a shame more people don’t. But with all that aside, let’s discuss how this products introduced itself shall we?

*Now, to disclaim, the box that I received was that of a plain box and was a loaner unit for the purposes of the Carolina CanFest 6 audio meet. A purchased unit may have some minute differences but from viewing pictures of others unboxing the product as well as reading through the forums, I believe the difference would be nil. Well, I also doubt your purchased box will have various tested dates written in marker on the front flap, so there’s that :p*

It’s rare that I find myself really impressed by the unboxing of amps or dacs. More often than not they’re delivered in a fairly plain *insert color* box with nothing on it. Usually I like this setup for to me it tell the listener to just experience the product vs letting it brag what it claims it can do. Well, that’s where the buildup ends unfortunately. Once you open the box, there’s the Ragnarok, inside of very protective foam and a power cord (at least they included a power cord with their products unlike a certain equally priced combi unit I purchased), a buyer would also get a user's manual and warranty guide but my loaner unit did not come with this. However a user manual can easily be found here.

So nothing to really write home about with its initial experience other than being just impressed by the sheer size and weight of the unit. But Schiit does take very good care in the delivery of their products to ensure they arrive in perfect condition to their customers and that is something most admirable. And honestly, though I wasn’t overly impressed with the unboxing, I can’t really think of a way to improve it because it’s not like imma be carrying it around in a carrying case. And if you could just carry this thing around willy nilly then by goodness, all the power to you cause you is a BEAST haha.



The build quality of the Schiit Ragnarok, like its Yggdrasil counterpart, is second to NONE. The entire thing is aluminum and solidly built in terms of both strudyness and weight. At the top of the unit you’ll find the Schiit logo and passive vent to let some of the heat the Ragnarok produces escape, which on a note, is NOWHERE near what I read about in the forums. Yes, the Ragnarok gets a little toasty, but to the analogy of frying eggs is just overkill (yes even when used in satire). I’ve had mine on for over 2 weeks straight and being all but constantly used so I would like to state that this thing does not get as hot as people are making it out to be. But any who's, looking at the front of the behemoth of an amp. you’ll find the (starting from the left) input selector button (with 5 FIVE different input options), the power gain button, the super smooth volume knob that actually has a physical start and stop point, the power gain indicator lights (interesting they put it next to the volume and not the power gain button but no biggy), the balanced and then single ended OUTPUT (in my unboxing video I brain farted and said they were inputs but since I haven’t received any What comments I’m pretty sure everyone knew what I meant). Before I move on, I want to make another note on the volume knob. When you turn it, it makes a clicking noise. I confirmed with Schiit that it is completely normal and supposed to do that.

Moving to the back, as stated above, you’ve FIVE input options to choose from. 2 balanced XLR and 3 single ended RCA. 2 outputs, 1 balanced XLR and 1 single ended RCA. You’ve a SPEAKER output, yeah like actual speakers (I did NOT use these during my time with the Ragnarok). Then lastly you’ve the power input and on/off knob.

Just like the flagship Yggdrasil, there’s so much to the Schiit Ragnarok that it’s no wonder this beast is so massive and so darned heavy. It’s also accomplished something that I thought was all but gone in today’s market. They made this beautiful piece of art in AMERICA, and yes, I take personal pride in that. But my final thoughts on the Ragnarok’s build is that I personally couldn’t have asked for any better. I have ZERO thoughts that those who are fortunate enough to be able to own one of these, so long as you truly love the solid state sound, will be happy with in indefinitely. Rather it be mechanically or physically I don’t foresee any issues (other than general wear and tear) happening with the Ragnarok. And heck, even if something does, if purchased through Schiit, you’ve a 5 year warranty as a nice backup.

Specification (Copied straight from the Schiit website)

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, -0.25db, 2Hz-110KHz, -3dB

Maximum Power, 4 ohms: 100W RMS per channel

Maximum Power, 8 ohms: 60W RMS per channel

Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 15W RMS per channel

Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 10W RMS per channel

Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 1.7W RMS per channel

Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 850mW RMS per channel

THD: Less than 0.006%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1V RMS

IMD: Less than 0.008%, CCIF at 1V RMS, high gain mode (worst case)

SNR: More than 103db, unweighted, referenced to 1V RMS, in gain = 1 mode

Crosstalk: Less than -80dB, 20Hz-20KHz

Output Impedance: 0.03 ohms

Input Impedance: 10K ohms

Gain: 20 (26dB), 5 (14dB), 1 (0db) via front panel switch.

Topology: Fully discrete Crossfet™ circlotron-style output stage with solid state voltage gain stage, microprocessor management of quiescent current and DC offset, as well as discrete summing stages for single-ended output

Protection: microprocessor monitoring of fault conditions including DC, overcurrent, and transient phenomena, with relay muting on any fault.

Power Supply: 400VA transformer with 4 separate circlotron output rails, plus 56VA separate transformer for high voltage rails; seven separate regulated supplies for front end and control section; over 100,000uF filter capacitance total.

Power Consumption: 75W quiescent, 500W max

Size: 16 x 12 x 3.75”

Weight: 32 lbs



For the mostish part the Ragnarok is a fairly straight forward amplifier, but it does offer some pretty sweet perks that, IMO, set it apart from most other audiophile amplifiers. The first one being that it can be used as a power amplifier for speakers as well as headphones (rather it be one or the other or both at the same time). Admittedly, this is not anything new or even remotely unique to the Ragnarok but the majority of the time, headphone amps with outputs can only “power” powered speakers. The Ragnarok is not in this category, for the Ragnarok can deliver up to 60W of power into an 8ohm load. Now, I was unable to test this feature during my time with the Rag. for I’ve no speakers but this is still a very impressive feat IMO.

The next perk that I was particularly impressed that’s in the Rag is its ability to play quite nicely with my hyper sensitive Empire Ears Hermes VI ciem. Another feature that isn’t unique or uncommon to the Ragnarok. But Schiit, has the best results of any desktop amplifier I’ve ever tried. I was able to listen to my ciems surprisingly efficient and what more is that I was able to, on low gain, increase the volume knob to about half way. I’m by no means an engineer as to how this is possible without frying my super sensitive gear but I’m going to give the credit to the 64 step attenuator. For it’s like (again, I’m no engineer so this is how I BELIEVE IT WORKS) the Rag is reading the low power requirements and only using like its first couple attenuator things (which I think are like power restrictors) thus only sending a fraction of the power to the ciems. But I’ll end that here and I’ll talk about the results of which later in the sound section.

So like I said earlier, it’s a fairly straight forward amp but it does have a few perks I wanted to give special notions to that I feel others will be able to really appreciate the Ragnarok having.



The sound on the Ragnarok is, to my ears, non existent. No, I don’t mean it doesn’t do anything but there is no sound that the Ragnarok adds to the music. It’s so transparent that the amp just disappears and all you hear is the music played as natural as I can fathom possible, minus the sound characteristics of your chosen headphones (or speakers). The Ragnarok emits, to my ears, a pitch black background completely void on any noise. Because of this I was able to, quite consistently, hear new nuances in music that I’ve listened to several hundred times, and this experience didn’t just sit with me but many who listened to the Ragnarok at CanFest 6. I’m aware that the Dac also plays a role in hearing new music details but I mix and matched the Rag/Yggy with other amp/dacs. as to isolate whether or not one of them was the sole benefiter.

This actually brings me to something that I’ve learned about the Ragnarok, it’s a purest amp. This amp is by no means musical, this is a pure, straight to business powerhouse that doesn’t make any excuses. Those who are stereotypic audiophile (not used in a negative connotation), who wants to listen to their music as accurately as possible, not necessarily accurate like how it was originally recorded but as if you were physically at the performance, then the Ragnarok is very likely going to be one of, if not the, most impressive amplifier you’ll ever hear.

In a lot of forums I read about the Ragnarok, a lot of the focus is on super named headphones that are prominently power hungry or picky to pair with. It’s honestly a rarity that I find anyone discuss its ability to power the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the c/iems. Now granted, I understand why because not too many people are going to buy a powerhouse of an amp to power what a phone can do just fine. But still, the curiosity for me is there. So I turned the volume completely down and selected the lowest possible gain. After letting it sit for a couple seconds I swallowed hard, said a small prayer, and plugged in my hypersensitive Empire Ears Hermes VI customs. Leaving everything where it is I pressed play on my selected song and then put the ciems up to my ear hoping I would still hear something. To my sweet relief I heard that lovely sound I love so much. On the flip side of that, I also heard that almost unanimous sound with everything I ever plug these things into, humming. Yeah, it’s not really noticeable at all with music playing, but I was still hopeful.

With the above being said, it also is its own negative. For those who watched my Hifiman Edition X review (shameless plug) you’ll remember me comparing it to a coworker who is exceptional at their job. They do it incredibly well, much more than they get paid for. However, said employee is all work oriented and doesn’t really have much of a personality, they’re just work and go home. And the Ragnarok is just that. It performs its job and that's it. I never, in the vast amount of hours I listened to the amp., had a feeling of wanting to come back to it. It never gave me an experience that I personally enjoy. I never had a smile be forced on my face when music was played through the Rag. Why? I can’t explain it. Every spec of detail that I’ve never even heard on other, even more expensive, amps. was revealed and the positioning of individual pieces has only been this pinpoint accurate on a very small select few products. So why did the Ragnarok just not really do it for me personally? The only conclusion I can come up with is the unknown factor of peoples individual tastes. I really couldn’t find anything bad about the Ragnarok’s performance, it’s outstanding. The darned thing never flinched regardless of what headphone, or headphones (running both balanced and unbalanced outputs simultaneously), Not once did I ever feel like I was giving the Rag a workout, from Focal’s to Hifiman’s the Rag just laughed and asked is that all ya got? Pompous little person.



The flagship amplifier of the Schiit brand is truly one incredible machine. The Ragnarok is very reminiscent of an African Elephant. Massive, beautiful, highly intelligent and despite also having the ability to completely overpower virtually any adversary, it can control its strength and power and finesse it where needed. I already stated it above, but the Ragnarok I believe to be the pinnacle of what a purist amp is. Sure, there’s amplifiers out there that cost multiples more than the Ragnarok, but I strongly doubt they’ll perform much, if at all, better. And though my personal tastes didn’t align with this amp. it is, to me, what solid state amplifiers strive to be.

Also, make sure to check out my unboxing and review videos. They’re pretty awesome AND you getta put a face to the Army-Firedawg name. If this review helped you out at all please hit that thumbs up button for it really helps me out a lot. Till next time my friends, stay safe.


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100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Drives speakers, drives any headphone. Drives audiophile speakers and headphones!
Cons: Sounds best after heating up. jack output ain’t as jacked as the balanced.
For a couple of years, I have been wanting a better speaker amp and been looking at Hegels H80(cheap in my country). Then last year I bought the Magni 2U/Modi 2U stack because it was well reviewed and most people said it was the best entry level head-fi gear you could get. And I was pleasantly surprised! It was my first pure headphone amp/dac and a step away from using the “convenience” jack-out on stereo receivers, or straight out of the computers minijack. Because of this purchase I started looking at some schiit and spotted the Ragnarok. An amp that could do both well, not just speakers or just headphones. Read some review online and that’s when I decided to buy it.
I don’t have much to compare with or against as I skipped straight from the beginning to the end of schiits amp product line. Modi 2U>Ragnarok/Modi 2U>HE-400i cans/LS50’s speakers. This is everything I have.
On both jack and balanced I noticed the sound improve more to my liking after it had heated up. It probably took around 10-30minutes, never timed it. As for speakers, I never tried them from a cold Ragnarok.
  1. Jack: 
    After listening sessions lasting 2-3 hours I started getting a headache. This might be because I had to put the gain up to 20 and turn the volume to around 12 o’clock to run my headphones. Might have boosted some headache promoting inaudible frequency? If this is from the DAC, power grid or amp itself I have no clue and I lack the gear to find out. Despite this headache I still feel it improved the sound over my Magni 2U, I just cannot put my finger on it and I never bother doing a side by side comparison with the jack. I look at the jack is a convenience port and it was mighty convenient as I was waiting 1 week for my balanced cable to arrive.
  1. Balanced: 
    Once I got my balanced cable the difference between the Ragnarok and the Magni 2U became apparent. Sounded as it had more control over the lows to upper mids(female vocals). Highs sound quite similar as the Magni 2U, that might be because I’m using a HE-400i and I find their highs are lacking. I suspect the cans are turning the highs into a sludge of some sort that no amp can improve upon. And yes, the headache problem disappeared with a balanced cable. 
  1. Speaker: 
    Blows everything I have previously owned out of the water. Which is no feat at all as I have owned some AKAI system, Denon home cinemathing and a borrowed Yamaha RX-V1800(returning it promptly). I bought a pair of LS50’s together with the Ragnarok so I also had a major speaker improvement. Can only say it’s good, really good, best speaker system I have heard. I like the sound of the LS50’s better through the Ragnarok than when I auditioned the LS50’s at a hifi store, and suspect they were connected to something fancy. Didn’t have my own tunes at the store so that might have played a major role.
Design, UI and heat
  1. I wanted one in silver, but the only one available for me was black. Still looked a lot better than expected with the grey/silver details on the black. That I have this “limited edition” black might become a problem if I buy an Yggdrasil someday.
  2. The source button labelled with numbers only is awesome.
  3. The minimalistic 3 buttons on front is to my liking as I don’t like a clutter of buttons to ruin somethings sleek design.
  4. Once I got used to switching between headphones/speakers with the source button hold, I liked it. Was kinda weird at first.
  5. When people said it got toasty I was a little worried, turns out it’s not that hot. I have had hotter laptops, measured at 88celcius. This amp probably only goes to 55ish celcius (going by feel here).

Would I recommend this amp?
For me its the best amp i know of for my needs, headphone and speakers at one place. So if you want a high-quality amp for speakers and headphones, then this is the amp you want. Feels like quality, looks like quality, sounds like quality and has all the features I need. Everyone with a typical "boys room" setup with speakers and headphones would love this.

Now I just need to save some money for a balanced DAC and probably upgrade my cans as well...


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: power, control, transparent, neutral
Cons: runs a bit hot, wish the knob had a more distinct indentation/ indicator.
The Schist Audio Ragnarok is a powerful, versatile amp.   When I recieved  the Rag, in late November of 2014, I was impressed by its large neo-spartan industrial design.   it seems every aspect of the Rag is functional, not much fluff about it.  On the Rag's brushed aluminum front plate are two buttons, one volume knob, eight small indicator lights; as well as a XLR balanced and 1/4 single ended headphone outputs  One button controls the five inputs: two balanced, three single. The second button controls the gain setting.  The back of the Rag is the same type of design.   I appreciate the large beefy design of  this amp, although I feel it runs warm and I made small table for it, so its heat would not bake any gadget.    
Now that I have briefly described  the physical attributes of the rag, I can get on to what really matters, how does this large beast of a solid state amp sound?    The Ragnarok is very powerful, yet the sound signature  is very natural, revealing and transparent.   For instance, when jamming out to Frank Zappa's  " Make Jazz Noise Here", the instruments sound natural, and transparent, no hint of colorization, a guitar sounds like a guitar, a bassoon sounds like a bassoon.   On my Pioneer receiver, the instruments would sound artificial or analytical; the Rag never sounds artificial, just revealingly neutral/ natural sound.   
The bass on the Rag is powerful,  yet tight and controlled, it does not bleed into the mids.   I have listened to rock, Jazz, blues, classical and rap and the bass has always been spot on perfect.  For example, Led Zeppelin's "Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp' the bass is so good, but does not leak into rest of the sound.  
The mids on the Rag are smooth and lush, yet ever so detailed.    Vocals and instruments sound  ever so smooth but the subtle details in the music is not lost. Yet to my ears the mids  are ever so musical,  and  even with the revealing detail, the mids never sound dry or analytical.   Likewise the treble on the Rag is  natural and revealing , no sign of undo brightness or sibilance.  Kate Bush sounds perfect, nothing fatiguing abut her voice.  Likewise the treble in certain instruments sounds perfect to my ears, no indication of undo brightness. The soundstage is large and holographic, and this is do, the Rags great, powerful bass, lush, detailed mids, and non fatiguing highs.
the Ragnarok sounded  best using the XLR balanced output.   Headphones, that use a balanced connection benefit from the total power of the Rag.   I have driven the following headphones, through the Rag: Audio-Technica ATH-m50x,   Beyerdynamic  DT 880 600 OHM, OPPO PM-3, MrSpeaker's Alpha Primes, MrSpeaker's Ether,  HIfiman HE1000 , and AKG K7XX.
The ATH-m50x sounded very nice, through the Rag, on gain setting one or two.   The m50x were my first headphones and seemed to like the power and control of the rag.   The DT 880 sounded alright,  but to my ears the DT 880 sounded better on my Lyr 2.   The AKG K7XX sounded very nice through the Rag, especially on power gain setting 3.    The OPPO PM-3's sounded incredible through the rag on gain setting 1 or 2.   The Alpha Primes are greedy for power, and sound great through the rag on gain setting 3.   Likewise my Ethers like the power of the Rag, mostly on gain setting 2, though, I do use gain setting 3.   Finally the HE1K's love the power and control of the Rag.  I mostly listened to the HE1K on gain setting 3.  
I did try out a pair of cheap IEM's and background was nice and black.   But I admit I disliked the ear buds/ IEm's so much, I turned the Rag to power gain setting 3 and turned up the volume and fried the suckers lol. I have never used the rag, to listen to speakers.  
 I feel the Ragnarok is a very versatile amp that can run most types of headphones.  The rag is a powerful extremely transparent amp,  allows the music to sound so great without any colorization of the sound.  The Rag does run a bit warm and is best put in a good ventilated place.   In winter, beware ones cats might like to sleep onto of the warm Rag.   I highly recommend the Ragnarok to anyone who is looking for a top tier product, that gives you lots of bang for your money.
Enjoyable review, concise and to the point without fluff.  Love to drive a couple of speakers for my desktop setup.
Hope you do more reviews like this.
Thanks for your impressions!
Heh heh, you should put those dead earbuds in a leather case, put it on top of the Ragnarok, and place a paper tombstone that says:

*Whatever earbuds name*
Date of Purchase- Date of Death


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