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PSI A17M vs Amphion One18 Studio Monitors
Old 2nd May 2017
  #1
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PSI A17M vs Amphion One18 vs Quested S7R

Hi

I know there's a similar thread, that I read, but this one is a little different.

I'm a composer for film and production music and I work mainly with virtual instruments (Vienna, Output, Vir2, etc.). I also mix and master my music. I have a Dangerous Music Source DAC and a pair of Neumann KH120 and a pair of Focal CMS 65. I use the Neumann mostly for mixing and the Focal for mastering, but I A/B on both stages. I like the mids of the Neumann for mixing and the more hifi quality of the Focals for mastering.

I'm thinking of upgrading this setup to a pair with a 3-4k budget. I have come to the PSI A17M and the Amphion One18 (with Amphion Amp100).

I'd like your opinion on these speakers considering that I work on classical/orchestral music, electronic music (not EDM) and hybrid music. I don't need a great bottom end. Perhaps the Quested S7R or S8R should be considered?

My home studio is treated but I don't have nearby walls behind the speakers because I use half of a large room (I have acoustic panels behind the monitors). I think this may be an issue with the Amphion since the bass radiator is on the back of the speaker, while the PSI and Quested have a front bass port.

I'm considering replacing the Focal by one of these but I'm still wondering if it's worth keeping the Neumann as a second pair. Or, if it's worth upgrading at all?Please give your thoughts on this.

Thanks in advance.
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PSI A17M vs Amphion One18-img_0152.jpg  

Last edited by jdd5; 3rd May 2017 at 01:08 AM..
Old 2nd May 2017
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by jddamas View Post
Hi

I know there's a similar thread, that I read, but this one is a little different.

I'm a composer for film and production music and I work mainly with virtual instruments (Vienna, Output, Vir2, etc.). I also mix and master my music. I have a Dangerous Music Source DAC and a pair of Neumann KH120 and a pair of Focal CMS 65. I use the Neumann mostly for mixing and the Focal for mastering, but I A/B on both stages. I like the mids of the Neumann for mixing and the more hifi quality of the Focals for mastering.

I'm thinking of upgrading this setup to a pair with a 3-4k budget. I have come to the PSI A17M and the Amphion One18 (with Amphion Amp100).

I'd like your opinion on these speakers considering that I work on classical/orchestral music, electronic music (not EDM) and hybrid music. I don't need a great bottom end. Perhaps the Quested S7R or S8R should be considered?

My home studio is treated but I don't have nearby walls behind the speakers because I use half of a large room (I have acoustic panels behind the monitors). I think this may be an issue with the Amphion since the bass radiator is on the back of the speaker, while the PSI and Quested have a front bass port.

I'm considering replacing the Focal by one of these but I'm still wondering if it's worth keeping the Neumann as a second pair. Or, if it's worth upgrading at all?Please give your thoughts on this.

Thanks in advance.
If it is at all possible I would urge you to get them in side by side and demo them. No-one can tell you which is going to work best for your ears in your room except you (once you have heard them with your ears in your room).
Old 2nd May 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
If it is at all possible I would urge you to get them in side by side and demo them. No-one can tell you which is going to work best for your ears in your room except you (once you have heard them with your ears in your room).
Sure, that would be the best option, but unfortunately it is not possible at all.
Old 2nd May 2017
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by jddamas View Post
Sure, that would be the best option, but unfortunately it is not possible at all.
In that case, FWIW I love the PSI A17 but that is because it sounds very different from my ATC mains: much more mid forward. I haven't tried the Amphion in my room but the key for me would be what they told me in comparison to the other monitors I have. Which is 'better' in objective terms is not a question I think its possible to answer. They just present differently. I did a thread somewhere with a shootout of a bunch of monitors at or around this price point...
Old 2nd May 2017
  #5
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off topic but...

No matter what you do, I'd flip your room around if your speakers truly are at a halfway point of the bigger room. No thin acoustic panels like you have will help the low end problem caused by positioning speakers at 1/2 the distance of the length, width, or height of the room. Sure you'd lose some reachable bookshelf space (though it looks like you've already done that with stuffings) but then at least your wavelengths will propagate into the larger space.

You could still keep those "acoustic panels" as a room divider behind your sitting position.

If you are being very approximate about the room division and you are actually at 3/8 or 5/8 of the length of the larger room, nevermind. (though it still could possibly be better.)

on topic...
bass radiates spherically. A passive radiator (Amphions) facing backwards won't be an issue. Ported speakers (unless boundaries are placed too close to the port and interfere with their function) are the same thing. Doesn't matter front or back (or top or side).

Those Questeds are a good choice for nearfield film work. I worked on the prototypes for the S7R years and years ago for editing and an often made remark was they sounded better than the VS2018 models. I haven't heard the PSI so no comment. The amphion one18 is best to try out yourself and make your own opinion. I did not find them remarkable.
Old 2nd May 2017
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
off topic but...

No matter what you do, I'd flip your room around if your speakers truly are at a halfway point of the bigger room. No thin acoustic panels like you have will help the low end problem caused by positioning speakers at 1/2 the distance of the length, width, or height of the room. Sure you'd lose some reachable bookshelf space (though it looks like you've already done that with stuffings) but then at least your wavelengths will propagate into the larger space.

You could still keep those "acoustic panels" as a room divider behind your sitting position.

If you are being very approximate about the room division and you are actually at 3/8 or 5/8 of the length of the larger room, nevermind. (though it still could possibly be better.)

on topic...
bass radiates spherically. A passive radiator (Amphions) facing backwards won't be an issue. Ported speakers (unless boundaries are placed too close to the port and interfere with their function) are the same thing. Doesn't matter front or back (or top or side).

Those Questeds are a good choice for nearfield film work. I worked on the prototypes for the S7R years and years ago for editing and an often made remark was they sounded better than the VS2018 models. I haven't heard the PSI so no comment. The amphion one18 is best to try out yourself and make your own opinion. I did not find them remarkable.
I have thought of flipping the desk close to the wall many times to get the speakers close to a wall. The problem with that is my listening position would go closer to the middle of the room which is next to a second room that has no door and has lots of echo. I could get one of those hofa isolation curtains though. I'll give a serious thought about it.

About the Quested, are you saying they perform well with classical/orchestral music?
Old 2nd May 2017
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jddamas View Post
About the Quested, are you saying they perform well with classical/orchestral music?
Echo is far easier to control because it is in the higher frequencies. Lots of materials will do enough to control that whereas low frequencies need a lot of depth or a lot of mass to actually make any effect. And that eats up room and tends to be more permanent.

Yes. The Questeds do well with classical/orchestral/film and synth music. They tend to present a spacious image on the horizontal plane. That's not necessarily razorsharp accurate but it is great to impress clients and translates well when sent to film and television mixers. Makes them good nearfields for that reason.
Old 3rd May 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Echo is far easier to control because it is in the higher frequencies. Lots of materials will do enough to control that whereas low frequencies need a lot of depth or a lot of mass to actually make any effect. And that eats up room and tends to be more permanent.

Yes. The Questeds do well with classical/orchestral/film and synth music. They tend to present a spacious image on the horizontal plane. That's not necessarily razorsharp accurate but it is great to impress clients and translates well when sent to film and television mixers. Makes them good nearfields for that reason.
Have you tested both the S7R and the S8R? Any big differences besides the extended low range on the S8R?
Old 3rd May 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jddamas View Post
Have you tested both the S7R and the S8R? Any big differences besides the extended low range on the S8R?
I have not. As I mentioned, I had the prototype S7R. At the time, Roger Quested wasn't thinking of doing an S8 since the point of the S series was to be lower priced than the V series and they didn't want to steal sales from (or create confusion with) the VS2108. This was still at least 6 months before production began on the S series (maybe even a year.)

I'd imagine the only difference is lower and louder; the two appear to be fairly similarly designed.
Old 3rd May 2017
  #10
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I can only say I'm very glad I upgraded from CMS65s to PSI A17s years ago. They are very clear and detailed with a softer top end. My ears did not like the focal tweeter. That's also the reason I'm not sure I'd like the amphions tweeter. Also I'm unsure if they are comfortable producing on, or if they sound a little thin and stressful when not working on a focused mix. Some say their tweeter is fatiguing some say not. The A-17 are great in the music production phase for me.

I'm gonna demo the new Barefoot footprints soon, to hear what 3-way sealed monitors sounds like compared to my 2-way ported. I think the A-17s are great at mids and highs and many other aspects but although the bass is very good too I might like a little tighter clearer deeper thing if I'm doing more mastering at home. There is also a little turbulence at higher bass levels lower frequencies. If bass isn't very important (I do mostly hip hop so it is to me) I don't think you'd regret PSIs. I won't be selling mine. But of course investigate more. Good luck!
Old 3rd May 2017
  #11
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I’ve done some research on the Quested S series and many users say they perform really well with acoustic music whereas the PSI may sound a little artificial for that sort of program. I’m not sure if that’s true but I don’t have means to test them side by side.

As a film composer I’m leaning more towards the Quested S7R plus the Neumann KH120 I already have. I think they might complement well. I’d use the Neumann for composing and the Quested for mixing/mastering. It’s nice to refresh the ears changing speakers when changing roles. The Neumann would also be good for A/B as I find they translate well for smaller commercial systems, and they are stated to go linearly down to 52Hz while the S7R go to 65Hz. I am not sure about the truth in these numbers since the S7R is a 6.5’ woofer and the KH120 is 5’ woofer…

That’s why I’m still considering the S8R that go down to 50Hz but I’m not sure if those big boxes would perform as well as the S7R in my modest home studio… And most of my music doesn’t go that low, but it’s still nice to have a good bottom end for the hybrid (orchestral+electronic) music.

This is my biggest doubt at the moment: the S7R + the KH120 or the S8R + KH120. One thing is for sure, the Focals are going. They’re not very analytical. People say in fact that the PSI are very detailed, but maybe they’re not the best choice for the kind of music I make and they cost €1000 more than the S7R.

Last edited by jdd5; 4th May 2017 at 03:16 AM..
Old 5th May 2017
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Echo is far easier to control because it is in the higher frequencies. Lots of materials will do enough to control that whereas low frequencies need a lot of depth or a lot of mass to actually make any effect. And that eats up room and tends to be more permanent.

Yes. The Questeds do well with classical/orchestral/film and synth music. They tend to present a spacious image on the horizontal plane. That's not necessarily razorsharp accurate but it is great to impress clients and translates well when sent to film and television mixers. Makes them good nearfields for that reason.
Hi Pentagon, after a lot of research I'm now trying to decide between the S7R and the S8R. Since you know the S7 pretty well, I'm asking for a final advice: I said I also compose hybrid music (orchestra with electronics). Sometimes I use boomers or rumbles like Hans Zimmer (from 1m50 to 3m00):

https://youtu.be/vLGI81mDYTg?t=1m46s

The S7R are stated to go down to 65Hz. This kind of sound goes below that, but this may sound like a newbie question: there's a rolloff of frequencies under 65Hz. Will the S7R still be able to reproduce this kind of rumble frequencies in a usable way without a sub? I'm thinking it would be a safer bet to get the S8R. Unfortunately I have to bet on this since there's no distributor in Portugal.

Thanks a lot for your comments.

Btw, I finally decided to flip the desk around my room. I'm getting a slightly more detailed sound and better and tighter bass. Good call!
Old 5th May 2017
  #13
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Just saw Quested's new site (finally! used to look from the early 90s.) Noticed immediately a discrepancy in numbers.

Use to be (see Vintage King) S7R +-2dB at 55 Hz and S8R +- 2dB at 50 Hz.

New Quested site has S7R at +- 2dB at 65 Hz and S8R at +- 2dB at 43 Hz.

Who to believe? (honestly don't know.) The difference in price is about $800/pair in the US; overseas you should be able to get it for less so I'd say go for the S8R if you can. Better amp pack at least. But if you end up with the S7R, also wouldn't worry -- just place it up against a wall and let the boundary effect boost the bass. I don't know what the roll off is (it is ported so it'll be steep) but I think it is 3rd order. That means you should still have usable bass at 40Hz (free-field) if the actual S7R roll off is around 55Hz. Near a wall, it should be even better.
Old 5th May 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Just saw Quested's new site (finally! used to look from the early 90s.) Noticed immediately a discrepancy in numbers.

Use to be (see Vintage King) S7R +-2dB at 55 Hz and S8R +- 2dB at 50 Hz.

New Quested site has S7R at +- 2dB at 65 Hz and S8R at +- 2dB at 43 Hz.

Who to believe? (honestly don't know.) The difference in price is about $800/pair in the US; overseas you should be able to get it for less so I'd say go for the S8R if you can. Better amp pack at least. But if you end up with the S7R, also wouldn't worry -- just place it up against a wall and let the boundary effect boost the bass. I don't know what the roll off is (it is ported so it'll be steep) but I think it is 3rd order. That means you should still have usable bass at 40Hz (free-field) if the actual S7R roll off is around 55Hz. Near a wall, it should be even better.
I believe the S7R mk3 go down to 65Hz. That's what I see on quested website and on multiple store websites. Even if I place them close to a wall, I find this may be short for a fullrange output. Besides being a film composer (the S7R would be sufficient for 90% of my work, except for the rumbles and other stuff like that - deep bass instruments), I occasionally do some semi-pro mixing and mastering for clients. I think it's safer to get the fullrange S8R because sometimes I may need the extra low end. I prefer this to adding a sub later (subs are very sensitive to positioning and I don't like using them for that reason). The S7R may have a slightly better midrange, but I'm keeping the Neumann KH120 that work well in that range and are pretty decent speakeds that I can A/B with the S8R.

I also think the S8R will perform well in my 6x4 meters room, although my working spot is only a third of that, but the low end will spread out through the entire room, right?
Old 5th May 2017
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
[snip] -- just place it up against a wall and let the boundary effect boost the bass. I don't know what the roll off is (it is ported so it'll be steep) but I think it is 3rd order. That means you should still have usable bass at 40Hz (free-field) if the actual S7R roll off is around 55Hz. Near a wall, it should be even better.
Are we really suggesting using the boundary effect to artifically make the low end sound louder? Are we listening for pleasure or for accuracy so that we can make mix decisions??
Old 5th May 2017
  #16
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The boundary effect in positioning non-soffit mounted speakers in a room has been used forever. Especially with subwoofer positioning. It's as "artificial" as port tuning. Mix decisions are not hampered by it if used and measured correctly.
Old 5th May 2017
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jddamas View Post
I also think the S8R will perform well in my 6x4 meters room, although my working spot is only a third of that, but the low end will spread out through the entire room, right?
Yes. Unless the room is divided with heavy walls, low-end waves are going to propagate to the hard wall boundaries (which is a good thing to get better low frequency production.) And sitting in a 1/3 of the space is good since (hopefully) you aren't sitting in a wavelength node (half, quarter, etc.)
Old 5th May 2017
  #18
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I'm sitting at 1/3 of the room.
Old 5th May 2017
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
The boundary effect in positioning non-soffit mounted speakers in a room has been used forever. Especially with subwoofer positioning. It's as "artificial" as port tuning. Mix decisions are not hampered by it if used and measured correctly.
erm... we arent talking about subs here though...

I'd love to hear what a real acoustician thinks of the proposition. Personally, I can't see how you could do that with any accuracy whatsoever. Paging @ Northward ... Thomas?
Old 5th May 2017
  #20
Dont rule out Hedd speakers - Klaus Heinz latest evolution of the AMT tweeters (which have a low crossover point to include more of the mids) are extremely fast, detailed and distortion free, and non-fatiguing to boot - the bass also goes very low, very accurately, due to a very stiff cone material - even the inexpensive Type 07's could be a good fit for your small room -

You have several good options on the table, and the Hedd's are also worth a thought...
Old 8th May 2017
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
erm... we arent talking about subs here though...

I'd love to hear what a real acoustician thinks of the proposition. Personally, I can't see how you could do that with any accuracy whatsoever. Paging @ Northward ... Thomas?
I didn't read the whole thread but:

It only make sense if speakers are right against the front wall. A inch away and you're already increasing problems substantially. It can also create pretty substantial problems from 200Hz and up, depending on size of speaker etc.

For it to work, the front wall must have a very specific design and known behaviour that compensates for these issues. It's not simple at all.

Otherwise, the LF boost will be very uneven and MF pretty messed up. As destructive as placed anywhere else in the room.

But whether or not it's better or worse than speakers away from the wall is to be determined on a per case basis. With speakers right against the wall, you also excite room modes a lot more. So the treatment room must be good.

Any of these solutions cannot reach the quality you get from in-wall.

With subwoofers only, placing against the wall will increase SPL without much side effect.
Old 10th May 2017
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
I didn't read the whole thread but:

It only make sense if speakers are right against the front wall. A inch away and you're already increasing problems substantially. It can also create pretty substantial problems from 200Hz and up, depending on size of speaker etc.

For it to work, the front wall must have a very specific design and known behaviour that compensates for these issues. It's not simple at all.

Otherwise, the LF boost will be very uneven and MF pretty messed up. As destructive as placed anywhere else in the room.

But whether or not it's better or worse than speakers away from the wall is to be determined on a per case basis. With speakers right against the wall, you also excite room modes a lot more. So the treatment room must be good.

Any of these solutions cannot reach the quality you get from in-wall.

With subwoofers only, placing against the wall will increase SPL without much side effect.
Thanks Thomas. That is helpful. That was basically my understanding but much better to have someone who actually knows what he is talking about explain rather than some know nothing hick like me.
Old 14th June 2017
  #23
rds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jddamas View Post
I'd like your opinion on these speakers considering that I work on classical/orchestral music, electronic music (not EDM) and hybrid music. I don't need a great bottom end. Perhaps the Quested S7R or S8R should be considered?

I owned the S8R from Quested before and the mid-range definitions is quit amazing, real instruments feel like they were there playing in front of you.

I imagine the S7R would have even more definition and clarity in the mid-range than the S8R.
For your room size and style of music i would definitively suggest you the S7R.

Also Quested have that silk sound, not harsh at all and well balanced.

My take is that for classical/orchestral music you won't be disapointed by the Quested, for that kind of music they shine.

Now don't get me wrong for other style like techno and electronic music they're fantastic too and i used them for that style of music and wasn't disapointed. Also dont let the specs fool you, those monitors goes way lower than what the specs say on paper, i measured my S8R and they were going down to 35hz effortless.
Old 14th June 2017
  #24
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Save the money or buy a speaker with good low end extension.
Old 14th June 2017
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rds View Post
I owned the S8R from Quested before and the mid-range definitions is quit amazing, real instruments feel like they were there playing in front of you.

I imagine the S7R would have even more definition and clarity in the mid-range than the S8R.
For your room size and style of music i would definitively suggest you the S7R.

Also Quested have that silk sound, not harsh at all and well balanced.

My take is that for classical/orchestral music you won't be disapointed by the Quested, for that kind of music they shine.

Now don't get me wrong for other style like techno and electronic music they're fantastic too and i used them for that style of music and wasn't disapointed. Also dont let the specs fool you, those monitors goes way lower than what the specs say on paper, i measured my S8R and they were going down to 35hz effortless.
I've had the S8R for 2 weeks now. I'm amazed on how detailed and well balanced they sound. Yes, they go below the stated 43Hz.
It's extremely easy to work on them and every adjustment I make on a mix or master is easily noticeable. My work is now faster and I'm more confident on my decisions.
I'm a happy owner of the S8R.
Old 14th June 2017
  #26
rds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jddamas View Post
I've had the S8R for 2 weeks now. I'm amazed on how detailed and well balanced they sound. Yes, they go below the stated 43Hz.
It's extremely easy to work on them and every adjustment I make on a mix or master is easily noticeable. My work is now faster and I'm more confident on my decisions.
I'm a happy owner of the S8R.
Nice decisions, they will serve you well for years

Just be carefull if you have them very close to the wall. Leave some space for letting the air circulating for cooling the amp heatsinks because under hot days they can become extremely hot.
Old 14th June 2017
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rds View Post
Nice decisions, they will serve you well for years

Just be carefull if you have them very close to the wall. Leave some space for letting the air circulating for cooling the amp heatsinks because under hot days they can become extremely hot.
Sure I've noticed they heat up pretty much and pretty fast.
Quested support advised for a 1-1.2m from the front wall and 1.5m between speakers as a start.
After several measurements they're now 1.1m from the wall, where they have the best frequency response.
Old 14th June 2017
  #28
rds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jddamas View Post
Sure I've noticed they heat up pretty much and pretty fast.
Quested support advised for a 1-1.2m from the front wall and 1.5m between speakers as a start.
After several measurements they're now 1.1m from the wall, where they have the best frequency response.
I'm surprsied they advise you such distance from the front wall and since they're front ported. Any particular reason why ?

Personally the distance between the front wall and the monitors might depend on the room size and treatment but even 50cm from the walls won't hurt.
Old 14th June 2017
  #29
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I am very happy with PSI A21, probably the best of the best in its class and far beyond.
The A17 are very close with tighter bass and a perfect low/high ratio.
The fast transient response, shared between two models, is a killer. For electronic music I find little competition - maybe only the Barefoots can top it. PSI has great resolution, depth, width of sound without being too flashy.
Highly recommended.
Old 14th June 2017
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rds View Post
I'm surprsied they advise you such distance from the front wall and since they're front ported. Any particular reason why ?

Personally the distance between the front wall and the monitors might depend on the room size and treatment but even 50cm from the walls won't hurt.
These were only general guidelines. They advised to begin from there and then move the speakers to find the best performance. Each room is different and no way their guidelines intended to be a rule of thumb.
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