What to get after LCD-2.1?
May 8, 2012 at 4:18 PM Post #46 of 107

brokenthumb

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Good read IEMcrazy! 
 
 
Personally though, I had the HD650, SR80i and HE-500 at the same time, which I guess qualifies as "mid-fi" around here. Then I decided to buy the HD800 and now I've sold everything else to finance that purchase and I'm pretty much satisfied. I don't see myself spending any more money on headphones if I don't sell these before. 

 
HE-500 is mid-fi now...
eek.gif
I'm sending these suckers right back asap!
 
May 8, 2012 at 4:22 PM Post #48 of 107

swbf2cheater

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There's also the bigger question.  How much detail is too much?  All this super-resolution may be good for the studio, but for listening, isn't the point to immitate live music?  When was the last time you heard the saliva in the throat or the bow striking the violin in a live performance unless you were on stage?  It's kind of fun to hear, but it also gets tiring fast.  Leading, also, to situations like Chris's "top of the line isn't good enough" dilemma.  It doesn't really sound like musicians playing.  It sounds like something much more electronic and surreal.  That may not apply to LCD2 as much as other flagships, though.
 
Still, we don't know what Chris is expecting from his headphones that he isn't getting!
redface.gif

 
Super Detailing is a bad thing.  Its the same as putting a super jet engine into a car from 100 years ago.  Studio Recording companies do not care in the slightest for high quality recordings and as we all know, its immensely hard to find a great recording.  99% of recordings out there are down sampled, meshing individual tracks from multiple instruments into one single master track.  This is the worst idea imaginable for dynamic sound reproduction and why everything Hi Fi " really shows the flaws in the recording ".  Basically, they create a super expensive and often immensely inefficient driver that is supposed to host high quality music.  Its useless with the current technology in my opinion.  You really can't blame Sennheiser for sticking firm to their prices, even if they are absolutely gouging you into the floor with the HD800.  Audeze and Hifiman do the same, so do a number of other "hifi" companies.  Its a premium service they are providing.  No different than buying a Ferrari, you buy it for a specific purpose, you don't take that sucker offroading but everyone knows and feels that a $100,000 car should be able to do damn near anything you want of it short of blasting off to the moon or cleaning your house.
 
The kicker here is almost nobody whines or complains to them about it.  If there were a petition signed by a few thousand Head Fi'ers, they would stop price gouging and give you anything you want at whatever price you want.  A petition that asks others to stop buying ludicrously priced gear that is super inefficient should be made.  You demand it, they will give it to you.  The down side is hardly anyone in the Audiophile world gives a crap about price, its rare to come across anyone seriously upset over being overcharged for headphones that do not perform the way they should by todays electronics standards. 
Grab a pitch fork and a torch, write an angry email, make your view public.  Protest.  You will get anything you want if you rally...but the odds of anyone having the guts to do this along with me is low. :p  This is why I love Mid Fi, sets like the FA011, 002, the new Fidelio L1 ect ect, all excellent performers at prices I feel the match their sound quality.
 
May 8, 2012 at 6:11 PM Post #49 of 107

Chris_Himself

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Well to understand the nature of my post before writing a short novel concerning my thread, you have to understand that before recently, I literally haven't bought a headphone in about 3-4 years. I was a Gradophile and HD580 owner and I pretty much bought them, posted about them whenever any questions concerning them came up and thats about it. I started making a tiny bit of money and thats why despite having 5 years of experience here on Head-Fi, I seem to be asking a rather silly question.
 
May 8, 2012 at 6:22 PM Post #50 of 107

abellaw

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Well to understand the nature of my post before writing a short novel concerning my thread, you have to understand that before recently, I literally haven't bought a headphone in about 3-4 years. I was a Gradophile and HD580 owner and I pretty much bought them, posted about them whenever any questions concerning them came up and thats about it. I started making a tiny bit of money and thats why despite having 5 years of experience here on Head-Fi, I seem to be asking a rather silly question.


I don't think your question is silly at all, i often ask myself a similar question. I am not made of money and as you said you are not made of money either. So your question of whether or not an upgrade is worth it makes perfect sense. I think IEMcrazy is just frustrated with the fact that previously great headphones have been relegated to "Mid-Fi" for no other reason than the fact that there are significantly more expensive headphones are being made now.
 
On another note a while ago i messaged you about recabling some Grados SR-80 a while ago, in the end i ended up recabling them myself and i am currently loving them. I am toying with idea of getting some magnums, and if i do i will be sending them your way for a recable(i dont trust myself with more expensive headphones).
 
May 8, 2012 at 7:11 PM Post #51 of 107

musicinmymind

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Also, my 3 month old pair of Fostex T50RPs, that I've modified and recabled with Mogami gold (going into each cup) is really starting to take on the duty of producing some great sound. 

 
Wje,
 
Can you please share link to get more info on T50RP with Mogami gold,
not trying to take this thread elsewhere, but search lead me no where
 
May 8, 2012 at 10:12 PM Post #52 of 107

devouringone3

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There is a lot more to a headphone than it's sound... like, for example, the fact that comfort is also part of the sound. Comfort will make you relaxed, stimulate blood flow, and will give you peace of mind, you will focus less on the headphone, and more on the music, and receive more of it, in the end. After the listening session you will feel good, because for a moment you completely forgot about the headphone and its sound quality. Yes, you pay a lot for it, now comes time to forget it, like I just said, but for many people comfort is a priority. I like to say that comfortable headphone sound better, they don't make you sweat, they don't irritate your skin, stop blood irrigation to your ears, or drain your energy.
 
The look for some people who wear their headphone in public will act the same way, and cheer them up. Personally I don't care, appearance is one of my last criteria, but it's what appealed me first with Grado, so I give them that... I still love that look today and it makes me happy to see me in the mirror with a wet HP-2. We all like things that are aesthetically pleasing us (know yourself and your tastes, one's beauty can be another's ugly). Headphones like LCD-2 are designed for the driver (literally, to hold the driver next to your hear), which itself is designed for the sound (it's big, flat, light, etc.)... the headphone is also designed only for killing resonance. That is the reason why they are not comfortable a weight a ton. Not much else than SQ has been considered or optimized on them, they probably (I have no idea really, but vaguely:) took 90% of their time on the driver (in the making of the LCD-1), and then 10% on the rest (LCD-2), and then returned to improve the driver (LCD-3). Take a HD800 instead, there is a better balance to the design of this headphone. More aspects has been considered, weighted and addressed (I'm just doing an example, arbitrary percentages: 40% driver, 20% material quality, 20% comfort and ergonomics, 10% aesthetics, etc.).
 
You guys are not absolutely and only solely for sound quality (that is simply impossible, you feel the headphone on your head when wearing it, and you have to tolerate the sight of it sitting next to you, and manipulate it, etc... but you might like to pretend you only care for SQ, I think it's hardly completely the truth), some want affordability, but really, you are seeking for a reward for all your hard work earning money, searching for headphones, reading reviews, and ultimately doing a big, stressful, purchase. Also, this purchase represent a money sacrifice, that's the hole inside the wallet not everyone can live with (I'm talking about living without money; I'm lucky because it seem like I can do that, just look at all the headphones I own and am not selling), so you definitely want a big reward for the trade you've done, because you want that sum you invested to successfully make you happy on a daily basis, which is kind of a big deal. You want the best for you, and the best for your money, some kind of compromise between the too actually. What gives you a feeling of nothingness is that, either A), you're thinking too much about SQ, quantitatively, and not thinking about the rest. "The rest" would, SQ, qualitatively --the right sound for you! even if it's not the best sound "specs-wise" (for me as an example, its Grado, and they perform poorly on graphs, even the HP-1000), who care if they are not the best? certainly not you or me; I still enjoy my KSC75 every time, I just need to pick the right occasion for it--, comfort, look, practicality and driveability (if you want it to be efficient, which I personally prefer by a wide margin), and other more personal and obscure ergonomics and self-made criterion (make sure they are not obscure to yourself! know what you want in a headphone; I prefer round shaped headphones to oval ones for dynamic headphones [= I only pick round shaped dynamic headphones], I prefer non-angled driver [will never buy Audio-Technica or HD800, etc.]. No we're not made of money, but to the world out there, giving you desires and offering you services you don't need, your money is all that matter. It's the game and the scenario... money is power too, you can buy, have, do, make do anything you want with money, think about what that implies for a second.
 
As long as Hi-Fi is the Highest-Fi (and that Head-Fi starts with an "H" :wink:, only the flagship, total-best headphones and all-time classics, will deserve that title (I'm not even sure of the latter one). The low-/mid-/hi-fi barriers aren't evenly set, can't you live with that? If no, absolutely not, and if "mid-fi", only the word, annoys you, then it might be because you are denying the reality that you also want to be one to own a HD800, a T1, or a HE-6, any of the ultimates. We all "want" the best, right? (I did not say "can afford"). On this continent when you're in age to have a job and doing good at school, in this community when headphones are the only thing you have desires for, and in this strife for budgeting, saving money one skip of a restaurant meal at the time, and selling your things on craigslist, I think we all can do it. I'd say more: I think one can have no excuses for not saving up money and not buying one of the headphone of his dream. Many come to Head-Fi with a different goal (finding a decent headphone, but really they don't care at all that much about headphones), which turns into a new obsession (finding the best, and they see only headphones in their tunnel vision). If you're complaining or if you're unhappy, I think you're only getting frustrated by your own failures, which themselves are because of all your hesitation in not being able to fearlessly buy the "current big thing", wanting to make a more reasonable choice instead, staggering/trembling a little not knowing what to do each time, insecure, unsure, buying many headphones only, beating around the bush. Eventually your head will become full of ideas, knowledge about headphones, and desires that you cannot fulfill, or have not fulfilled, because of lack of money, because of lack of guts --that is only if you are unhappy... if you are happy with Mid-Fi, I'm bowing to you... Mid-Fi is totally worth it and awesome, it's just that it's hard not to be bothered by lust and desire on Head-Fi--. Returning to the unhappy or frustrated guy, he has for long become an individual of the higher-profile, seasoned and savvy, but his headphone roster doesn't reflect that alone (which isn't a bad thing in itself). Why don't you sell all you're headphone and keep only one? The music itself won't change dramatically. Many people live with only a HD800, or a SR009, they have more, but they have found their "one headphone". This thread has some people complaining in it, but if you look elsewhere you will see a lot of people happy and settled on their gear (most of the time it's a company and its current flagship headphone, they do get to upgrade from time to time), accumulating posts and aging wisely. They are immunized from new trends and fads, most of the new Mid-Fi headphones that get's released are inferior anyway (in a basic sentence, that's how I would see it... buy the best headphone of the company you prefer the headphones of).
 
Stop tiring yourself and start saving up and selling plastic already. Put things and life into perspective, how long to you want to keep upgrading, think about what you want, and take a lot of time to think. After that, make one, big, enlightened decision, and live with it.
 
You're on Head-Fi and temptation is everywhere, leveling SQ is only an excuse to spend more money... if you think you will still want better sound quality after purchasing a good SR009 rig (extreme example) and don't want to spend your life working to achieve the perfection with your SR009 rig, then start planning your own immunization to upgraditis, because it will never stop otherwise. I think fighting upgraditis should be everyone's pre-occupation (I mean, start listening to music already, lol, remember that goal of yours when you joined Head-Fi that turned into an obsession, realize the mental illness).
 
You also need to accept reality, the 10% that is worth 1000 dollars, is the 10% we all want... they're the best percents and the hardest to achieve. Yes, every companies are stuffing super-tiny and super-cool engineering concepts and novelties, and are making it a reason to price their headphones even higher, for you to suffer. Yes time flow makes everything more costly, but the bar is being pushed up also. You can choose to wait, headphones do drop in price after a while, but not as rapidly as computers... but it will always be that the newer the headphone, the better, and the costlier (very rarely one of these will go in another direction). Money looses value with time also, think about that when you compare 10 years old headphones. Do you really want to wait for your money to be worth even less next to the successor of the HD800, of the LCD-4? You might end up happy with the HD800, leave Head-Fi, and not even be bothered by the release of the HD900. For some (many?) of us Head-Fi will remain only an episode in our life, and we will forget about all of our bugs, complaints, upgraditis after the episode is finished.
 
 
Chris, to my eyes (and I say "eyes" and not "ears" because I have not listened to any of these headphones, but I've read reviews! and gave it a lot of thought), Fostex TH900, a few STAX Headphones, Taket H2, are all better than LCD-2.1, but you will need to fork out as much money as you would have done for a LCD-3.
 
In trying to answer your question "What to get after LCD-2.1" depends if you like the LCD-2.1 or not... if the answer to this is "yes", then, a new knife, if "no", I would suggest not a LCD-3. If you love the LCD-2.1 but still want more, absolutely the LCD-3, yeah!
 
May 8, 2012 at 10:28 PM Post #53 of 107

wje

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Quote:
 
Wje,
 
Can you please share link to get more info on T50RP with Mogami gold,
not trying to take this thread elsewhere, but search lead me no where

 
The link to my post with a picture is below.  I drilled 2 new holes (one into each cup) and plugged the existing hole up with a plastic automotive plug, designed for holding trim panels onto a Honda.
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/452404/just-listened-to-some-fostex-t50rps-today-wow/6525#post_8160438
 
May 8, 2012 at 11:13 PM Post #54 of 107

Katun

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There is a lot more to a headphone than it's sound... like, for example, the fact that comfort is also part of the sound. Comfort will make you relaxed, stimulate blood flow, and will give you peace of mind, you will focus less on the headphone, and more on the music, and receive more of it, in the end. After the listening session you will feel good, because for a moment you completely forgot about the headphone and its sound quality. Yes, you pay a lot for it, now comes time to forget it, like I just said, but for many people comfort is a priority. I like to say that comfortable headphone sound better, they don't make you sweat, they don't irritate your skin, stop blood irrigation to your ears, and drain your energy.

 
I put that as my number one priority for quite a while. I've heard too many good headphones that have lousy comfort, ruining any chance of me keeping them.
 
May 9, 2012 at 12:10 AM Post #55 of 107

wje

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HE-500 is mid-fi now...
eek.gif
I'm sending these suckers right back asap!

 
I think the statement is about right on par.  The $350 - $700 range is about "mid" fidelity level.  $700, and up is where the "Hi" fidelity starts to come into place.  However, I do think we are very fortunate for what we can get in the "mid" league at the moment for the cost.  Keep in mind that the top of the line receivers in the 1970s ran pretty high in cost.  For example, the Sansui 881 that I had recently, had an MSRP of $479.00 at the time (1975).  In today's dollars, that would equal nearly $2,000.
 
May 9, 2012 at 12:17 AM Post #56 of 107

devouringone3

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Grado HP-1 in 1990 was 595.95 U$ MSRP.  Most people felt like it was too high (it took about 5 years to sell the 1000 units), so the headphone wasn't really considered a success. Although, the few buyers must have had the feeling they were buying a world class headphone at the time.
 
May 9, 2012 at 1:31 AM Post #57 of 107

madbull

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You mean those lowly mid-fidelity HD650/K702 ranges of headphones or those truly low-fidelity low resolution HD598's and AD900's?
rolleyes.gif

 
Seriously though, very well said.  I think Chris's experience should be a lesson to a lot of newcomers to the boards as to just how far off the deep-end may be warranted.  For the few percent of difference you're buying at those $1k price points, if you weren't happy with the headphones at the $500 price point, you probably still won't be happy with the $1k, $1.5k, $2k price points either....If you know what you're getting, as you say, then great.  But if you're so picky you're impossible to please at $500, you're not going to have much better luck elsewhere, there's only so far audio reproduction, especially at close-range can go.  The old flagships were already near the top of what can be done with audio reproduction.  K702 is still a staple of studio production, HD600 and 650 are still go-to staples in classical engineering.  They were a testament to modern engineering.  They were praised here for a decade almost.  Just how far did everyone think the same recording could be moved beyond that level? Sure tweaks here, tweaks there.  We all anticipated new releases...HD655, HD660, K703 that sort of thing.   New models to replace the elder models at the same price with newer tech.  Instead they dump the $1500 improved model on us.  And the monstrosity that is the $1000 HD700.   HD800 introduces great tech, nice advancement, I can understand a crazy premium on that until the R&D is paid and until mass production can move it into the mainstream.   The fact that HD700 is.....what it is, and HD800's new tech remains isolated to stratospheric prices is demeaning.  The problem, I fear, is that the mfrs know they've pushed the limits of the tech, there's nowhere else for them to go, so they can't afford to lower their prices as the tech ages.
 
Few things irritate me on the boards more than the "mid-fi" moniker.  I can live with all the praise of "cryo-treated cables sound so much better"....if it's what people think they hear, great.  I'm not anti-cable at all, I think there is some merit to it, but once they get into the crazy cryo type claims or those rediculous "Less Loss" cables I see advertised on the side-bar (I thought isolating the ground was a UL no-no?? I'd love to know how they got away with that....)  it gets more absurd.  But still, I can tolerate that.  But "mid-fi" just irritates me.  The insinuation that production level speakers that represented the top of the line for so long, and only sits SLIGHTLY below the flagships costing several times their value is somehow no longer represents a high level of fidelity is bewildering. No one will deny that HD800 (it's easiest to pick on Sennheiser with their nutty pricing) is superior to HD600 and HD650 technically.  But selling that bump in performance for 3x the price of the 10 year old launch price of the previous high-end makes it such a negative value proposition it's laughable.  Would I love to have one in my collection?  Sure.  Would I pay $1500 for it? Not a chance.  It's such false value.   The predictable world would have placed HD650 as the soon-to-be retired $300 or $350 headphone, HD700 as the replacement for HD650 at the $500 mark, and maybe, as sheer luxury, HD800 as the $1k flagship for those willing to pay for the last bit.   What has happened to the pricing structure in the headphone world is amazing.  But I can accept manufacturers doing it so long as folks are paying it.  Ok, fine.  But everyone running around screaming "headphone x is mid-fi, it doesn't have the extra tiny detail of hearing the saliva in the throat of the singer that $2k headphone y has" fuels the fire and harms any real discussion of headphones.   "mid-fi" does exist, but it exists at a much lower price point for much inferior models to former flagships.  Those that isolate "mid-fi" in that way seem to imply that top-of-the-line is hi-fi, most everything else is mid-fi, and SkullCandy is "low-fi".  It makes it very difficult to maintain useful discussion of the real value of product lines.  Like you said, you hope the buyer knows what they're getting for all that extra money in terms of tiny increases in performance.  The relegation to mid-fi of some truly amazing headphones I fear leads people to feel they need to spend $1k+ to experience what hi-fidelity really is, instead of understanding $1k+ buys them a little bit more prescision over existing hi-fi at manageable prices.
 
It's a false value that sponsors no doubt love.  But it's kind of a sad turn of events compared to what these forums looked like just a few years ago when people were doing the same thing with their $10k source chains to feed the 'unbeatable' HD650.  Back then, $500 was really expensive, but worth it for the price, but there was a lot you could do with some of the monitor-class headphones under $150.  Now $1k is the new $500, and $500 is considered cheap?  Someone missed the economic briefing...   For the long-time audiophiles, most of us know exactly what we're looking at so we can talk around it and still have meaningful conversation.  But for a lot of newcomers, that sort of thing gives them a very false sense of value and sense of what they're hearing.  Worse is the newcomers with way more money than experience who insist on buying the $1k+ price point, insisting it's the true meaning of hi-fi, and have no real understanding of what they really have and how it relates to what else is available.
 
It's not so much the money as the value that's at issue.  A common reaction to my statements would be that "well if you can't afford the top of the line....".  The money I've spent on my "mid-fi" headphone collection isn't mild.  I could have easily bought LCD-2, HE6, T1, even HD800, LCD-3, maybe even a Stax rig if you throw the IEMs and amps into the mix.  But for me, a collection of a host of different sound signatures and feels (and failover by duplicates), all at 90-95% of the performance of the top has far more value, fun, and generally sonic pleasure than the same money spent on a single pair of cans.  One top-tier headphone may please me for most things.  But 5 headphones each used for the recordings they enhance the most, to me, is a better matching for all recordings all the way around.  I wouldn't consider trading the collection for a one-size-fits-all flagship for a moment.  I think I would come away with less value than I had.  I can match my mood and the recording.  If I want analytical, wide sound K702 comes out. If I want relaxing, HD650 comes out.  If I want detailed or bassy, D5k comes out, if I want my dark all-rounder, HE-400 comes out.  One $2k headphone couldn't do that.  And is only somewhat better in detail and performance.  Which is a better value?  I'd still like to have an LCD2 in the collection, flaws aside, I think it represents the high-end of "almost-sane" and marks the beginning of "almost pointless diminishing returns."  But would I get much more out of it than what I have?  Probably not.  I'd love to hear the vast soundstage of HD800.  But I'm not sure I'd pay a dime more than $800 for the experience.  And even that is pushing it. They are so obviously trying to create a new market with a new sense of value, and unfortunately, a lot of people that should know better seem to be biting. 
 
There's also the bigger question.  How much detail is too much?  All this super-resolution may be good for the studio, but for listening, isn't the point to immitate live music?  When was the last time you heard the saliva in the throat or the bow striking the violin in a live performance unless you were on stage?  It's kind of fun to hear, but it also gets tiring fast.  Leading, also, to situations like Chris's "top of the line isn't good enough" dilemma.  It doesn't really sound like musicians playing.  It sounds like something much more electronic and surreal.  That may not apply to LCD2 as much as other flagships, though.
 
Still, we don't know what Chris is expecting from his headphones that he isn't getting!
redface.gif

 
You are so right...
 
Unfortunately I'm still a fool burning a lot of dollars on this addiction... 
frown.gif
 but I have my fun somehow, and that's the only life I have, so... 
beyersmile.png
.
 
BTW, about super-resolution, in 1996 I went to a Buddy Guy concert, and we all know how loud he can get, but also he can be very soft and calm, I will never forget the moment when the band stopped playing and he kept soloing, continually and smoothly turning the volume of his guitar down, until the whole theater was all silence ... I mean, dead silence... it lasted a few seconds and I was at first row just a few feets away and could listen his pick striking the strings without amplification when the volume was all off... magical really. I don't think I'll ever get this feeling again.
 
May 9, 2012 at 6:25 AM Post #58 of 107

Chris_Himself

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Wow.
 
I had no idea you guys cared so much :D
 
Thumbs up from me for that post.

 
Yeah it's like dude if you check my posts from like circa 2007-2009 I was SOOOO enthusiastic about all the gear I had, I was really excited about all the acquistions and I couldn't want to get home and blast my SR-225's on my Ray Samuels for 4+ hours a day while browsing head-fi and posting gobs of crap on there. Now that I have hi-fi gear, I just play musical chairs and honestly, once you're up here, it feels kinda lonely. I have less and less people to talk to about mutual gear.
 
My source is a Nuforce HDP which is the most amazing little all-in-one I've ever used regardless of money until Burson sends me a free demo unit to review.
 
If I could go back to a well rounded mid-fi setup I would, but something wouldn't feel right. It's not even pride of ownership talking, I could easily sell my headphone gear, grab a pair of Earsonics SM3's and be happy. Plus I'd have money to upgrade to a newer Omega Seamaster haha. Mine is pretty old.
 
May 9, 2012 at 7:23 AM Post #59 of 107

olor1n

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@ IEMCrazy - Have you spent any time with the flagship headphones you're crusading against? Have you heard the HD700? I would have liked to have paid less for the HD800, but for me it was worth it. Buyer's remorse (which I'm prone to) dissipated as soon as I heard music through it. You get more than just a "vast soundstage" from this headphone. Your generalisations lessen the weight of your arguments. Strong views based on first hand experience are fine, but it's misleading to present such a stance on mere speculation.
 

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