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PinnacleProdUK
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#1
17th June 2009
Old 17th June 2009
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Neumann U47 Clones

Can some of the U47 clones i.e Wunder Audio, Peluso, Lawson etc, actually replicate the sound of an original U47?

I have done some searching on the tinterweb including GS but have not really found a definitive answer and I also understand that "Vintage" U47's didn't all sound the same, which begs the question of what a U47 actually sounded like??

Have any of you used an original U47 compared to a newer "clone", How do they stack up "IN YOUR OPINION"

I have also heard some things about the M-audio Sputnik having a certain "U47-type sound", how true this is im not sure.

The Wunder Audio CM7 looks like the best comparison as I understand it uses the same transformer as the original, has anybody had any experience using this mic?


I hope you can shed some light?
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#2
17th June 2009
Old 17th June 2009
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You might be surprised how dark & thick many vintage U47s sound today. They sound different from one another, but there's a signature midrange detail and pleasant top end.

IMO & experience, the Pearlman TM-1 (not a "clone") sounds a lot like one of my favorite U47s that lives in Boston, yet it's a lot darker than another favorite that I use here in L.A. Fortunately it responds well to EQ, so you can manipulate the sound to your liking.

Take what I say with a grain of salt because when I went out to buy a good vintage (or rebuilt) U47, I purchased an M149 instead. It's a lot more hi-fi than a vintage 47, but it sounds great on so many singers. I also recently bought a TM-1 with the transformer upgrade, which apparently makes it significantly thicker & darker sounding than a stock model, and I dig it even though it's the opposite of the M149. It makes thin female voices sound way bigger without adding sibilance.

I've read many GS posts about 47s and the clones, and I have recorded with many of them. They all sound different, and most of them sound good. As a result, the best guidance I can offer is to suggest that you stick to a budget that makes you comfortable, and then audition a few choices with a male & female singer who you've already recorded so that you have some basis for judgement. Buy the mic that inspires you, regardless of the name on the emblem.
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17th June 2009
Old 17th June 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 529 Pro Audio View Post
I would worry less about how a 'clone' approximates a U47 and more about how it sounds. In other words, do you want a clone of a particular vintage U47, or do you want a great sounding microphone?

Best,
Chris
Well said.
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17th June 2009
Old 17th June 2009
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so basically the clones have some of the classic features that all u47s have but because there is so much difference between mic to mic a clone is sort of impossible.
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17th June 2009
Old 17th June 2009
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Well no, it's not impossible... and there are great examples of U-47's that can be used as a "benchmark" for the sound of a U-47 redux. Yeah, I work at TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik... but I have to say that I was a fan long before I was an employee.

There are varying degrees of success in the result, and to each there own in that regard... but if the capsule is right, and the tube is right, and the output transformer is right, and the rest of the values are right then chances are pretty damn good that the result will be rather impressive.

Only your ears can make the determination... my ears have been satisfied but YMMV.

Peace.
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17th June 2009
Old 17th June 2009
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I had a Telefunken U47AE for a while and that was a fantastic mic. Depends on the budget, the under 2K range the Pearlman is a great mic. Up from there the CM7 is really nice I owned one for about a year, did a lot of records with it very solid. Ultimately for me I bought a Wagner U47w, that to my ears was the best but no longer being made. Honestly you can make good records with just about any I just mentioned.
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17th June 2009
Old 17th June 2009
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Quote:
The Wunder Audio CM7 looks like the best comparison as I understand it uses the same transformer as the original, has anybody had any experience using this mic?
The transformer is made by Tab Funkenwerk, and Oliver uses NOS laminations. It's a "direct replacement" for a BV8, but it is not the same "original transformer".

But with that said, I believe Oliver is making the best transformer for these mics... and this is the transformer most of the high dollar U47 clones are using. And, it just so happens I have one sitting on my desk.
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17th June 2009
Old 17th June 2009
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The Telefunken USA U-47 is a dead ringer for the original, given the variations between individual old mics. At AES SF my old friend Dan Alexander, who is a legend in the vintage gear scene, was conducting blind testing between new and old U-47s and new and old ELA M251s using API preamps and Ultrasone phones at the Telefunken booth. I was one of the approximately 50% who could not hear a difference. Of those who claimed that they could, fully half of them preferred the new mics to the old ones. Truly impressive.

The new Tellys aren't cheap, but they're a hell of a lot less than the vintage ones - I'm buying one if I can ever get the extra cash.

I was a bit pissed that Telefunken weren't giving away the free tie tacks that they did at the previous SF AES though........
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17th June 2009
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There are no clones at all - but there are a few copies.

The best of which, I think, are the FLEA and the Wundar.
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#10
17th June 2009
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Wagner U47W

I had the Wunder CM7 on demo for about a week some time ago.The mic left me very unimpressed.Unimpressed to the point that it led me to believe that it was running with a subpar capsule or some other strange anomaly.

Gunter Wagner's U47W is where its at.His mic has the magic that is not always present even in vintage U47 specimens.

I would not hesitate for a second to use Gunter's U47W if a source was crying for a touch of U47-ness and there was no original specimen in sight!

Mike
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17th June 2009
Old 17th June 2009
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Hi There,

I heard some good quotes about the Flea F 47
And what about the one below, the Vertigo VTS47.



Greetz,

Paul
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13th July 2009
Old 13th July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
The transformer is made by Tab Funkenwerk, and Oliver uses NOS laminations. It's a "direct replacement" for a BV8, but it is not the same "original transformer".

But with that said, I believe Oliver is making the best transformer for these mics... and this is the transformer most of the high dollar U47 clones are using. And, it just so happens I have one sitting on my desk.
Im pretty sure that I remember Mike telling me that the transformer Oliver makes for Wunder is different to the ones he supplies to anyone else.

The difference being that the BV8 in the CM7 is the larger version found in the more sought after 'large badge' U47's (pre 1952).

Here's a link to the Wunder website where most of the details are mentioned.
wunderbar WUNDER AUDIO

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#13
13th July 2009
Old 13th July 2009
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Another vote for the Pearlman TM-1. I've put it up against a Telefunken U47, an older Soundlux 47 Copy, and a Wunder Audio.... It absolutely rocks with those mics... For the price, It's better than the soundlux and wunder.. It's dark like an original 47 too... PVC Capsule... German tube.... it rocks!! I'm about to buy another....

I have vintage CMV's and a U67... Had an acoustic gig in the studio this weekend. Split the guys up by a baffle in a live room.... the other one got jealous during playback and wanted to use the Pearlman on his guitar as well... So we ended up doing them one at a time
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13th July 2009
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re: U 47 reverence - maybe we should try to deconstruct it.

Does the love flow from one ideal component or is it the whole mic as system? The headbasket frequency reponse shaping or the K7 / K47's capsule response? The circuiit topology or the VF14 tube itself? The Bv8 thransformer? Because each one of these components contributites to the U 47 sound. Which is the most important? Or does it take all of these components to make the magic of the U 47?
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20th August 2009
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Hey mate,

I never heard a real U47 except samples on this and other sites, so what do I know?

I had a Pearlman TM-1 here for a while. I was impressed. Big and full, creamy mid range, modest tops.

Then I got a 47 head for my Korby Kat system. VERY different!
Denser and nicer in the mid range, MUCH MUCH nicer tops, but not as big in the bottom end, but tighter and more focused. Overall a much higher quality sound. Perhaps more distant from a real 47, a little more modern and tight sounding.

Still not satisfied, I ended up getting a Wagner U47w.
My goodness! Puts the TM-1 to shame, undescribeable really. The purity, dimension, smoothness across the spectrum, etc... everything I want to hear is there.
I researched LOTS and a lot of guys whose opinions I have grown to trust say the Wagner sounds like a VERY good U47.
I contemplated the Wunder, and although I never heard it in person, ultimately I believe strongly that the Wagner is a superior mic. A lot of people comment on the harsher mid range of the Wunder.

Good luck!
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21st August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gutr2 View Post
Hey mate,

I never heard a real U47 except samples on this and other sites, so what do I know?

I had a Pearlman TM-1 here for a while. I was impressed. Big and full, creamy mid range, modest tops.

Then I got a 47 head for my Korby Kat system. VERY different!
Denser and nicer in the mid range, MUCH MUCH nicer tops, but not as big in the bottom end, but tighter and more focused. Overall a much higher quality sound. Perhaps more distant from a real 47, a little more modern and tight sounding.

Still not satisfied, I ended up getting a Wagner U47w.
My goodness! Puts the TM-1 to shame, undescribeable really. The purity, dimension, smoothness across the spectrum, etc... everything I want to hear is there.
I researched LOTS and a lot of guys whose opinions I have grown to trust say the Wagner sounds like a VERY good U47.
I contemplated the Wunder, and although I never heard it in person, ultimately I believe strongly that the Wagner is a superior mic. A lot of people comment on the harsher mid range of the Wunder.

Good luck!
I don't think it's right for you to make a comment like this without ever having tried it.
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21st August 2009
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bla bla bla...

I CLEARLY stated my comments about Wunder vs Wagner were based on what I read. I may be wrong. And having the Wagner, I don't feel the slightest urge to try a Wunder.
I have read a LOT of negative comments about the Wunder, none about the Wagner.
I also listened to lots of samples of both and the Wunder consistently has a harsher mid range to my ears. I'm not stating the truth, just my opinion. If you can't handle opinions other than your own, well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
I don't think it's right for you to make a comment like this without ever having tried it.
#18
21st August 2009
Old 21st August 2009
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A/b'd a Wagner to an original. Preferred the original, but would have been happy with the Wagner. Using a flea on a session right now, no original to compare to but it sounded much nicer than the blue bottle on our vocalist.
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21st August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PinnacleProdUK View Post
Have any of you used an original U47 compared to a newer "clone", How do they stack up "IN YOUR OPINION"

I have also heard some things about the M-audio Sputnik having a certain "U47-type sound", how true this is im not sure.

I hope you can shed some light?

In answer to your questions.

Yes.

Pretty well

Kinda, but I don't see the sputnik that way....

Yes. Here is your light. Listen for yourself and come to your own conclusions, but the competition for the "47" sound is fierce. Are they exact. No. Close enough. For many, the answer is yes. And for many, the answer is they like the clones better then the KH modded U47. And for many, ONLY a real, vintage 47 will work. You can listen here to vintage Klaus modded U47, vintage M49 (both with K47 caps) and some "clones" and mics modded with a nod to the K47 (U47) capsule :

***Mic-Mod Madness!!!***

Cheers,

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21st August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
re: U 47 reverence - maybe we should try to deconstruct it.

Does the love flow from one ideal component or is it the whole mic as system? The headbasket frequency reponse shaping or the K7 / K47's capsule response? The circuiit topology or the VF14 tube itself? The Bv8 thransformer? Because each one of these components contributites to the U 47 sound. Which is the most important? Or does it take all of these components to make the magic of the U 47?
A question that keeps nagging me is, based on just about every opinion I hear, why does a microphone from a half century ago consistently outperform modern mics of the same general design? What are we missing in this century?

By the way, Michael, I finally got to play with the Gauge ECM-87 with your MJE-K47 mod suite. Holy smokes! It is nothing like the mic it was. You definitely took away the "eshyness"...I expected that much, but what really stuns me is that I now have authoritative lows and mids, deep and clear as a bell, along with a nice, creamy top end. You turned my cup of coffee into $50 cappuccino! Thank you sir.
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21st August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman View Post
A question that keeps nagging me is, based on just about every opinion I hear, why does a microphone from a half century ago consistently outperform modern mics of the same general design? What are we missing in this century?

By the way, Michael, I finally got to play with the Gauge ECM-87 with your MJE-K47 mod suite. Holy smokes! It is nothing like the mic it was. You definitely took away the "eshyness"...I expected that much, but what really stuns me is that I now have authoritative lows and mids, deep and clear as a bell, along with a nice, creamy top end. You turned my cup of coffee into $50 cappuccino! Thank you sir.
What's missing, Georg Neumann perhaps? But seriously, there's some nice work being done by boutique manufacturers that would keep most folks pretty happy.

btw - thanks for the kind words, glad you're enjoying that cappuccino!

Since this is a U 47 thread, and I'm trying to drum up visitors to Dr.Bill's new shootout, I can tell you there's some great listening and some surprises ahead for folks who want to stop in at Bill's shootout thread and listen a U 47, U 49, some mod'd mics and a stock $110 tube mic (plus a batch of FET mics too). Try and guess which mic is which - or just stop in tell the crowd what you liked or didn't without going to far out on a limb
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21st August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
The Telefunken USA U-47 is a dead ringer for the original, given the variations between individual old mics. At AES SF my old friend Dan Alexander, who is a legend in the vintage gear scene, was conducting blind testing between new and old U-47s and new and old ELA M251s using API preamps and Ultrasone phones at the Telefunken booth. I was one of the approximately 50% who could not hear a difference. Of those who claimed that they could, fully half of them preferred the new mics to the old ones. Truly impressive.

The new Tellys aren't cheap, but they're a hell of a lot less than the vintage ones - I'm buying one if I can ever get the extra cash.
I have heard the TELEFUNKEN U47 and I concur. I have heard the same demo you refer to, and I concur. The TELEFUNKEN 251 is a monster, as is the C12, which I find simply stunning to say the least. These are amazing microphones, and when you need the "belly" of a sound to be heard with musical authority and thunder, the 47 is the one in my experience.
#23
21st August 2009
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^^^^^^^^^

I took the "blind" test (which consisted of walking up to the booth and speaking into two different microphones). Even on the AES show floor there was very obvious differences between those mics that you could clearly hear in the headphones. Which one was better would certainly be up for debate, but the differences were apparent within a few seconds.
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21st August 2009
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Adam and Tony - you guys hear a lot mics, you have professional ears. Why not go over to Dr.Bill's U 47 etc shootout and lend some opinions?
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21st August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont

I took the "blind" test (which consisted of walking up to the booth and speaking into two different microphones). Even on the AES show floor there was very obvious differences between those mics that you could clearly hear in the headphones. Which one was better would certainly be up for debate, but the differences were apparent within a few seconds
Agree to disagree? I certainly could not do a proper test of the microphones on a trade show floor. I will offer to you, that I thought the difference, if any was hardly something I would consider, more than neatly trimmed-red c-hair of difference. Aged components versus new ones. At any rate, TELEFUNKEN makes newly manufactured microphones. They do not build clones of old ones. They build re-creations, and I think that's what a 251 might have sounded like when it was brand new. My 2-cents; the microphone sounded "newer", which it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
Adam and Tony - you guys hear a lot mics, you have professional ears. Why not go over to Dr.Bill's U 47 etc shootout and lend some opinions?
Thanks for the compliment Michael,

But I don't judge tools on internet postings.

I'm sure Dr. Bill's test is awesome, but don't really like auditioning tools, and their use as it pertains to my applications, through internet postings, or samples. I prefer to use these microphones, in real world applications, so as to determine their worth as the tool that they are. I am not questioning any validity of your equipment, or Dr. Bills comparison and helpful posting, I just don't feel that judging gear based on internet samples is helpful to me as an engineer. The same goes for trade show floors, but I stood behind the microphones and listened to them, which is getting closer to a real world experience.

peace in the threads of gearslutz.
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21st August 2009
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Great response Adam - and an opinion that would be welcome in Bills thread. Because one of the subtexts that's starting to get discussed is methodology of choosing a mic for a particular singer and song. And as you point out, there's no substitutue for bringing tools and talent together in real time to make engineering decisions.
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21st August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
But I don't judge tools on internet postings.
Oh, come on Adam!!!! Can it be any worse than listening on the floor at AES.....

All are welcome. Stop on by. It's all for the sake of discussion, honing our ears, and finding solutions.

You should have been clairvoyant and sent me a TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik™ - U-47 / U-48 to drop into the mix! I'm sure it would have been awesome!

In retrospect, I wish I had had a stock(-ish) 47/48 to put up in addition to Klaus's version.

bp
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21st August 2009
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Quote:
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Oh, come on Adam!!!! Can it be any worse than listening on the floor at AES.....
Agree to disagree that the disconnect between my ears and the audio before and after the involvement of the microphones and all your studio's electronics; monitoring and room, is too far away for me to comment one way or the other, regardless of preference or "which ones I might like best". Really, What do I have to add to this, other than my opinion of something I have heard and used? I was not there. I choose not to judge equipment without laying hands and ears, while under real world conditions. I am certainly willing to admit trade show floors are useless, [unless you record trade show floors for a living] but I have a bit more context to judge what I hear in that instance. I guess its my Mercenary upbringing and staunch opinion about equipment, recording, and record-isms. Seems you have it covered Bill, as you were present when doing the shootout. I'd trust you over myself any day in this situation, seeing how I have no clue what they sounded like in your room, and I personally view such samples as WAY more than just the microphone. Its all your other gear too, and then your ear, because of the way you balanced the sound. At least at the trade show floor I have a reference of my voice, the room, and real time playback on the cans. With your examples, I have ZERO idea what the audio [air and time] sounded like before you involved all the tools. That's a serious disconnect that draws me away from stuff like this.

Quote:
You should have been clairvoyant and sent me a TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik™ - U-47 / U-48 to drop into the mix! I'm sure it would have been awesome!
Too bad you didn't call me sooner. Elvis has already left the building.
#29
21st August 2009
Old 21st August 2009
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Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
Agree to disagree that the disconnect between my ears and the audio before and after the involvement of the microphones and all your studio's electronics; monitoring and room, is too far away for me to comment one way or the other, regardless of preference or "which ones I might like best". Really, What do I have to add to this, other than my opinion of something I have heard and used? I was not there. I choose not to judge equipment without laying hands and ears, while under real world conditions. I am certainly willing to admit trade show floors are useless, [unless you record trade show floors for a living] but I have a bit more context to judge what I hear in that instance. I guess its my Mercenary upbringing and staunch opinion about equipment, recording, and record-isms. Seems you have it covered Bill, as you were present when doing the shootout. I'd trust you over myself any day in this situation, seeing how I have no clue what they sounded like in your room, and I personally view such samples as WAY more than just the microphone. Its all your other gear too, and then your ear, because of the way you balanced the sound. At least at the trade show floor I have a reference of my voice, the room, and real time playback on the cans. With your examples, I have ZERO idea what the audio [air and time] sounded like before you involved all the tools. That's a serious disconnect that draws me away from stuff like this.

Too bad you didn't call me sooner. Elvis has already left the building.
If I knew Elvis would have shown up, I would have!!! Next time I'll book him in advance.

As for opinions, come on man! Everybody's got one.....
#30
21st August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
If I knew Elvis would have shown up, I would have!!! Next time I'll book him in advance.
Oh don't worry, Elvis will be back in the building shortly.

Quote:
As for opinions, come on man! Everybody's got one.....
Was the one above not appropriate?
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