New Home Theatre. Want Opinions!! I am new to HTF!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adam_Reiter, Oct 11, 2001.

  1. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    (very long, sorry) Hey guys, my name is Adam. I am 25(25yrs). I've really only been posting to Klipsch's forum, until I found this one. I am in a very lucky situation as my wife, Beth(22yrs) has agreed to let me use approx $8000-$8500 of our tax refund this next year to buy Home Theatre Equipment. We estimate to get back Approx $16,000 back this year. Kewl thing is, is I don't have to include the TV in that amount. I am getting the Sony KV-36XBR450 36” Trinitron Wega next month! ($1999 Circuit City) I am not going to commit to getting a big screen tv until they advance the technology down the road and come up with a standard for HDTV. Anyway, I am purchasing all the other quipment early FEB. Here is the list of Equipment I am planning on getting. Please feel free to offer any suggestions, comments, or alternative equipment you think would maybe be better in certain situations.
    The list so far goes as follows:
    Onkyo TX-DS989 THX Ultra Reciever (Ebay/Online: $2100)
    Onkyo DV-S939 THX Ultra DVD (Ebay/Online: $1300)
    Klipsch RF-7 Tower Speakers (Ebay/Online: $1500)
    Klipsch RC-7 Center(1 frnt,1 Rear)(Ebay/Online: $500/ea)
    Klipsch RS-7 Surround Speakers (Ebay/Online: $550)
    SVS Ultra Subwoofer w/1000 Amp (SVS Direct: $1400/one)
    That is Roughly $7900. Of course there is no Shipping or cables included in that. So, realisticly, I should stop here and allow the other money to go to cables, shipping and stuff. $600 wont even really cover cables, depending on what quality I go with. I am going to try and stick with Monster Cable Z series whenever possible. This is the bummer thing about HT, it could cost you thousands of dollars more just for frickin cables!!!! Not to mention if you were a real hob-nobber and could possibly spend $3000 on a pair of Transparent. Well, untill I own a pair of $20,000 to $40,000 pair of speakers, and start putting my power supplies over sand boxes and crap, I will stick to semi-audiophile cables!
    Anyway, in the next month or 2, I also am going to purchase a Monster Cable MP-HTS5000 Line conditioner. ($375) The power in the house we are renting scares me and I dont want to take any chances. As it stands, I allready have to install grounded outlets, there is only on grounded outlet in the whole friggin house. Also, I am also going to get the Panasonic TU-HDS20 HDTV/ Direct TV Receiver ($650) to decode HDTV. I am switching to Direct TV on Saturday after being a loyal Dish Network/Echostar customer. I am tired of always wanting the NFL and NHL packages and not being able to get them. Direct TV also supports HDTV much much better IMO. Plus the quality of recievers you can get with Direct TV, and the point that they are even installing Direct TV in the new TV's now. Hopefully if Echostar buys out Direct tv, we will all be able to use Direct TV equipment. I might also get the Terk HDTV60 HDTV anntenna for the roof to get the HDTV signals for regular TV reception.
    I really wish Sunfire made a Cinema Grand Signature in a 6 or 7 channel. I might scrap some equipment to go with that. However, that would probably take me to $8K just for an amp like that and a Sunfire pre-amp.
    So, my first question is, What do you all think of this equipment list? Good? Average? I wish I had $20k to blow, but since I dont, I have to keep it kind of tight. Another question is, is there a 6/7 channel amp and preamp that would match or better serve me instead of the Onkyo? I'm sure I would lose some feature not going with the Onkyo. I have been going back and forth about the Onkyo 989 and the Denon 5800. I am thinking Onkyo becase of east of upgrade, features, nice remote, good brand, and I would really like the dvd and reciever to be the same if possible. Specially since the DVD player is so much money. I like Denon for the stronger amp at 40 watts more per channel, but, considering the SVS Ultra sub, I dont think I will miss it. Plus, I have heard complaints of a "hum" from Denon. Plus a crappy crappy remote for the 5800. Plus, poor customer service, plus, having to send the reciever in to recieve upgrades. Plus, its $300-$400 more. All of these I think have pushed me towards sticking with the Onkyo.
    Sorry for this long post, I hope alot of you read it and give me your best advice. It is much appreciated.
    ------------------
    Adam Reiter
    Network Engineer
    San Diego, CA
     
  2. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Adam,
    Welcome to the forum! Welcome to the disease!
    I am not going to recommend equipment I will
    let the others do that. But what I will say
    is this, as a Network Engineer you should
    know everything there is to know about cable
    and fiber and being such I think Monster Cable
    Z-Series is just a waste of your hard earned
    money. Are the MC Z-Series Cables good? Yes..
    Can you make the same or better quality cables
    yourself? Yes... Or you can just go to http://www.bettercables.com and good luck with
    your Home Theater Adventures!
    ------------------
     
  3. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    Wow, that's a mighty big interest-free loan you're giving Uncle Sam. But I guess the spirit of the season is patriotism. And I can't help but wish I was getting a $16k check.
    Regarding pre-amps and amplifiers, have you seen the products from Outlaw Audio? They've currently got a 165W X 5 channel amplifier for $1100 I think. And before the end of the year they'll be introducing a pre/pro for around $950 and a new 200W X 7 channel amplifier. Many HTF members have been anxiously awaiting these new products. In a relatively short period of time Outlaw has created a loyal customer base by offering high quality equipment for great prices. Check out their web site.
     
  4. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    just a warning about Direct TV:
    we used to get it at our lake house, but every time something goes wrong or you need to talk to a rep, you'll spend a good 30 min to an hour on the phone. [​IMG] i have been on hold with them for periods over an hour and we finally got sick of it. i think we're sticking to the Dish Network now. just a word of advice...
    ------------------
    -Thomas
    My HT
     
  5. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Adam,
    How the heck do you get back a $16,000 tax refund at age 25? You win the Lotto this year or something. So where is it you work as a Network Engineer? I want to work with you! Im 22 and work as a Engineering Tech in Silicon Valley and I got back about 1/10th of what you're getting last year.
    Anyway, good luck with the new gear. You definitelly are a lucky man.
     
  6. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    You know, its funny. Eveyone cringes about me not putting that kind of money is savings and earning interest, but, I am a HABITUAL spender. Giving the money to Uncle Sam keeps my money, "out of sight, out of mind" If I have access to it, its gone. So, right now, its the best way for me to do it. Although, I think at the begining of the year, we are going to have my Grandma in CO open a savings account for us in her name (so we cant touch it without going through her) and then just direct deposit $2000 per month in that for at least a year or two so we can buy a house in Oregon. I hate CA BTW. Too frickin expensive! CA is a ripoff every which way. We are makig all this money and have virtually nothing to show for it. Sorry to all you Californian's but, unless all the prices for these crappy houses came down to what they are acutally worth to me (damn $75,000 house selling for almost $500,000 in some cases) I am getting the hell out of here. I just moved from CO last year. Anyway, sorry for veering completely off the subject.
    The only reason I am not buying a bigger TV right now is space. Hell, I dont even really have room for the speakers right now. I won't buy a big screen until I have my OWN house that I can figure out what my options are. Ideally I would have a kick-ass tube tv (Which I am getting, so that part is out of the way) At least a 64inch Big Screen, and then a Front View Projector. We are thinking of trying to find a big house with a nice big unfinished basement so that we can convert it into a actual mini theatre. I mean, I can't think of a cooler thing you can do to a house than throw in a theatre. Or, just maybe to do an actual add-on to the house for a theatre similar to some of the people on this forum.
    Were we are sitting, the 36 incher will do just fine for now. We have a hugh Armoure
     
  7. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    Dang-
    When I was 25, I owed Uncle Sam $16,000!! I would agree with Brett above with the video priority, or lack of. I would definitely consider going a little bigger with the screen size. The equipment all sounds good, especially if you have already auditioned it in a realistic setting. Onkyo and Klipschs fans are ardent in their fervor...so I won't question their appeal.
     
  8. Matty B

    Matty B Stunt Coordinator

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    It sounds to me like you've been shopping at Circuit city [​IMG] I for one would seek out your local high end audio shop and take a listen to some of their higher end speakers. You would be amazed how much better high end speakers sound that high end circuit city speakers. and LORDY please don't give your money to monster cable. The 16 guage speaker cable from home depot is VERY acceptable as well. You should be focusing on spending more money on a bigger television and higher quality component cables.
    If you want SPECIFIC advice you should check out a set of B&W 602 series book shelf speakers, they blow away almost everything else in the B&W line (The DM line, the nautilus line would eat up your budget instantly)
     
  9. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    to reply to Jeff. Dude, I am just really lucky. My wife, is not TECHNICALLY my wife, but she IS my wife. I'll explain! We have been living together for 3 years and have 2 kids. The ONLY reason we haven't got married, is because of the huge taxes we have been getting back. One kid has her name, one mine. So, we both claim single parent, blah blah, blah, and get very nice taxes back.
    She is a smart cookie. Went to School of Mines in CO. Its the top engineering school out there. She is working for a civil engineering firm is San Diego. She is 22 and makes $50k. I work for 2 companies actually. Both very close to each other. I am very lucky for that as well. I am the only network engineer/admin for both of them. I work 50/hours a week. Not including extra hours for special projects. I have invested in my own Cisco equipment and am currently persuing Cisco Certifications. My ultimate goal is to become CCIE so that I can work absolutely any were I damn well want. With both jobs at a staight 50hrs/week. I make $92k. That of course goes up depending on how many extra hours I work. To maybe closer to $95-97k
    So, I consirder us very lucky. A: for me to even have a job at all during this crappy tech slowdown. B:I dont know any couple as young as us making as much money. I just shows our commitment to furthering ourselves as quick as possible. Not that money is everything. I'm also not trying to brag. I make peanuts comared to alot of people.
    But to say the least, I am personaly proud of us.
    But, there is my story, not that anyone should really care, just giving you background.
    ------------------
    Adam Reiter
    Network Engineer
    San Diego, CA
     
  10. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Yeah, but considering you live in CA, where everything is 2 - 3 times more expensive than anywhere else, it makes sense. If you were both working in Arizona doing the same thing, you'd probably only make around $65K - $70K a year. Still, that is excellent income for you two.
    For your receiver, seriously consider the Outlaw 950/770 combo. Probably one of your best bang for the bucks right there. Also pick up the ICBM as you will use it later on for better bass management.
    Love the SVS in there. [​IMG]
    As for speakers, very subjective. Personally I do not care for horns. I find them too bright to listen to over an extended period of time. Would go with marble or synthetic marble speakers from nOrh or would take a look at speakers from AV Reality, ACI, Def Tech, B&W, or Swan Diva. I'd also give serious consideration to a music only system. Just my NSHO.
     
  11. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Goddamit Adam, I am upset! I am a graduating Electrical Enginering major and I don't have a fecking job! AAAARRRGHHH!!!!
    Hum.
    Anyway [​IMG]
    If you insist on not having a larger TV, some remarks:
    I would spend much more on speakers and much less on the electronic. I would not spend $1300 on a DVD player to use it on a 36 incher. Spend $500 max on the player. When you are ready for a larger display, get a better player (you might not even need to, I believe $500 is plenty enough).
    I know Klipsch makes terrific speakers, but with your budget, I would look a little higher. You WILL be upgrading the electronic soon enough, no matter how much you like what you get: We are all gadget freaks here, and it is hard to resist getting new toys (DPLII anyone?). On the other hand, once you find the perfect speakers for you, they might be around for quite a few years.
    --
    Holadem
     
  12. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Okay, well then, I have a few more questions for you all. I believe that the Klipsch speakers are excellent performers for the price. So, if and when you guys suggest additional speakers to me, can you please keep in mind these things.
    1.
    A: Are the speakers in the same price range within $500? And could you please quote an approximate price?
    b: Are they good for both Home Theatre and Music?
    C: Do they offer a complete matched set all the way through, including Center Channel and Surrounds?
    2. Does everyone here pretty much endorse "Better Cables" I mean, they seem to be on par price wise with Monstor Cable. I'm not talking just speaker wire either. Interconnects as well.
    My reasoning behing the DVD player is this. Why not buy DVD player that just kicks major ass? It has a 54mhz/10 DAC. One guy said the picture is beautiful. Sure I might not have a 64inch TV, but I will eventually. Plus, the 36incher is HDTV so it will look super nice. Why have to blow $5K on a big screen, and then have to go upgrade my DVD player to get it up to par. I'd rather not half-ass it now and have to upgrade later. IMO, the Onkyo DVD player should hold its own for quite a while. Plus, I've seen a few reviews that it plays the DVD-A's better than any other players. It seems better to me to throw the money down on something I wont have to worry about for awhile. Which is why the Onkyo 989 comes into play. Its upgradible so it will hold its own for a long time.
    ------------------
    Adam Reiter
    Network Engineer
    San Diego, CA
     
  13. JaleelK

    JaleelK Second Unit

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    very long, sorry) Hey guys, my name is Adam. I am 25(25yrs). I've really only been posting to Klipsch's forum, until I found this one. I am in a very lucky situation as my wife, Beth(22yrs) has agreed to let me use approx $8000-$8500 of our tax refund this next year to buy Home Theatre Equipment. We estimate to get back Approx $16,000 back this year. Kewl thing is, is I don't have to include the TV in that amount. I am getting the Sony KV-36XBR450 36” Trinitron Wega next month! ($1999 Circuit City) I am not going to commit to getting a big screen tv until they advance the technology down the road and come up with a standard for HDTV. Anyway, I am purchasing all the other quipment early FEB. Here is the list of Equipment I am planning on getting. Please feel free to offer any suggestions, comments, or alternative equipment you think would maybe be better in certain situations.
    The list so far goes as follows:
    Onkyo TX-DS989 THX Ultra Reciever (Ebay/Online: $2100)
    Onkyo DV-S939 THX Ultra DVD (Ebay/Online: $1300)
    Klipsch RF-7 Tower Speakers (Ebay/Online: $1500)
    Klipsch RC-7 Center(1 frnt,1 Rear)(Ebay/Online: $500/ea)
    Klipsch RS-7 Surround Speakers (Ebay/Online: $550)
    SVS Ultra Subwoofer w/1000 Amp (SVS Direct: $1400/one)
    That is Roughly $7900. Of course there is no Shipping or cables included in that. So, realisticly, I should stop here and allow the other money to go to cables, shipping and stuff. $600 wont even really cover cables, depending on what quality I go with. I am going to try and stick with Monster Cable Z series whenever possible. This is the bummer thing about HT, it could cost you thousands of dollars more just for frickin cables!!!! Not to mention if you were a real hob-nobber and could possibly spend $3000 on a pair of Transparent. Well, untill I own a pair of $20,000 to $40,000 pair of speakers, and start putting my power supplies over sand boxes and crap, I will stick to semi-audiophile cables!
    ----------------------------
    1) Here's some real advice for you. Do get a HDTV set, you must have 16x9 set, any home theater without one is lacking in my opinion.
    2)Do not, I repeat, do not purchase expensive so-called audio cables. Its has been proven over and over again in Double Blind Listening test that there aren't any sonic difference between "exotic" exspenive audiophile cables and your garden variety Radio Shack brands. The whole cable thing is mostly "snake oil".
    3) Do get the Onkyo 989, even though I think Denon's are better, something like the 4802.
    4) Do not purchase expensive Line Conditioners, they are nothing more than glorified surge protectors.
    5) Do get the speakers.
    6) Don't get the Onkyo DVD player, go for one of the new Panasonic players, you probably can get for about $400-500.
    I really wish Sunfire made a Cinema Grand Signature in a 6 or 7 channel. I might scrap some equipment to go with that. However, that would probably take me to $8K just for an amp like that and a Sunfire pre-amp.
    ------------------------
    Stay away from overkill amps, as this is where most audiophiles waste money. In double blind listening test, most amps usually have undetectable sonic differences, thats cheap amps compared to expensive ones.
    So, my first question is, What do you all think of this equipment list? Good? Average? I wish I had $20k to blow, but since I dont, I have to keep it kind of tight. Another question is, is there a 6/7 channel amp and preamp that would match or better serve me instead of the Onkyo? I'm sure I would lose some feature not going with the Onkyo. I have been going back and forth about the Onkyo 989 and the Denon 5800. I am thinking Onkyo becase of east of upgrade, features, nice remote, good brand, and I would really like the dvd and reciever to be the same if possible. Specially since the DVD player is so much money. I like Denon for the stronger amp at 40 watts more per channel, but, considering the SVS Ultra sub, I dont think I will miss it. Plus, I have heard complaints of a "hum" from Denon. Plus a crappy crappy remote for the 5800. Plus, poor customer service, plus, having to send the reciever in to recieve upgrades. Plus, its $300-$400 more. All of these I think have pushed me towards sticking with the Onkyo.
    ------------------------------------------------
    As I said before, I prefer Denon over Onkyo, but I would go with the 4802 instead of the 5800. Its less expensive and sound the same, with more features.
     
  14. Bob-N

    Bob-N Supporting Actor

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    I'll just chime in here on the DVD. Based on my observations, there is no one "kick-ass" DVD player. If you check out AVSforum.com, you'll see what I mean. I have to agree that you should put the money into your speakers first as most electronics will get outdated by the time you are ready to upgrade your TV/big screen.
    I'm envious! $8-9k on HT? I've put in about $2k so far and probably will only put in another $2k max for a pre/pro.
     
  15. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    Well, it looks like you've planned $2550 for the Klipsch speakers.
    For less than that you could get:
    1 pair Norh SM6.9 $1000
    1 pair Norh Marble 4.0 $700
    1 shielded Norh Marble 4.0 $375
    Total = $2075
    Or
    2 pairs Norh SM6.1 $1200
    1 shielded Norh Marble 4.0 $375
    Total = $1575
    I recommend the Norhs because I own the 4.0s and absolutely love them. Extremely accurate and detailed for both music and home theater. Terrific imaging. But these very unique looking speakers are not for everyone - round enclosures made of ceramic, marble or synthetic marble. And I'm sure they'll sound very different from any horn speaker. Check them out at www.norh.com
     
  16. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    Adam,
    On the DVD Front, you cannot go wrong with the Panasonic RP-91. You also get DVD-Audio capability as a bonus.Its better than the Onkyo and you will save almost $800 that you could put to better use elsewhere.
    Do take Jaleel's comments with a grain of salt. He's a big fan of mysterious "Double Blind Studies" but has never participated in one himself(or provided evidence of, if he has), nor can he point to any published ones that back up his claims. Line conditioners are FAR from glorified surge protectors and to state otherwise is just ignorant.
    I wont talk cables other than to say buy what you're comfortable with, dont overspend on cabling.
    Jaleel,
    Can you please learn to use the "Quote" feature? It's very difficult to distinguish your comments from the original. That's why there is a quote feature.
    ------------------
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Ric Perrott - My DVD's
     
  17. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    That's some sweet gear....and a sweetheart of a wife to let you get it all in one swoop [​IMG]
    Jeremy
     
  18. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Well, I allready have the Pioneer DV-444 DVD player. Should I just stick with that? It's retail almost $500, but, it got shitty reviews for its progressive scan. This is why I was thinking to upgrade it. I guess I probably wouldn't know the damn difference anyway. Hell, I have been using a crappy 27inch JVC tv, a Pair of Cerwin Vega 12" speakers, and a Pioneer 6-disk CD Changer and Pioneer "110w/Channel" (yeah, right!!!) Pro Logic Reciever for the last 6 years!! All this new stuff is going to knock me off my feet anyway!!
    If I didn't spend the $1300 on the DVD and just went with my current DVD player, where should the extra $1300 go?
    What is the best damn set of speakers I can get, allowing room for surrounds and 2 center channel speakers, all for $3500-$4000? Any takers on this one?
    ------------------
    Adam Reiter
    Network Engineer
    San Diego, CA
     
  19. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    "A: Are the speakers in the same price range within $500? And could you please quote an approximate price?"
    Someone mentioned the B&W 600 series earlier. They seem to be alomost identical in price to the Klipsch line-up you mention.
    The B&W 604 s2 is $1500/pr (front mains)
    The B&W 602s2 are $650/pr (rear surround)
    The B&W LCR6 s2 is $500/each (center) the CC6 is $350; my suggestion would be to get the LCR6
    They also make a THX cerified dipole speaker in this series.
    It's the DS6. All of these speakers use the same mids and tweeters to timbre match perfectly.
    "b: Are they good for both Home Theatre and Music?"
    Yes, VERY.
    "C: Do they offer a complete matched set all the way. through, including Center Channel and Surrounds?"
    Yes.
    "2. Does everyone here pretty much endorse "Better Cables" I mean, they seem to be on par price wise with Monstor Cable. I'm not talking just speaker wire either. Interconnects as well."
    Better Cables makes some great stuff....so does Radio Shack, IMO. If you want to spend a little time making DIY cables, it'll payoff in the end....especially with long surround runs. There are plenty of DIY guys here that can help you along the way.
    I would also stay away from the new Onkyo DVD player. It probably does give a fantastic picture....but so do many others. You can find cheaper units (RP-91) and (Denon 2800) that use 12 bit video DACs....so the 10 bit isn't necessarily the state-of-the-art DAC, right now. There are even cheaper units that those....the new JVC is getting rave reviews and it sells for less than $300!
    Jeremy
     
  20. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Adam,
    I just wanted to put my recommendation in on speakers since
    every one else seems to be. Don't overlook Acoustic Research
    Hi-Res line. You can get everything matched in this line.
    AR has Matched Hi-Res Center's Towers and Bookshelfs that
    all use the same drivers and therfore have exact timbre
    matched tonal ballance. They are equaly at home playing
    cinema as they are blaring Classical music, And Metallica
    never sounded so good as they do on my AR9's.
    These are just my opinions and I would ask that you listen
    to them and compare them to what Klipsch has to offer and
    then let me know what you think. But any way you go I don't
    think you will be dissatisfied with any of the recommended
    speakers listed here.
    My Home Theater http://www.westol.com/~brettd/av/
    ------------------
     

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