­”The MaxTV MT2 is an ex­pert when it comes to im­pres­sive sound in a tiny pack­age. We loved some of the de­sign touch­es, like the mag­net­ic re­mov­able speak­er grills”

MaxTV™ High-Performance TV Speaker
The phrase “sound bar” has a mixed rep­u­ta­tion. But it’s not a dirty word or a slur- in fact, though the cat­e­go­ry might not seem sexy, it’s im­proved re­mark­ably over the past few years. Though still con­strained by the laws of physics- boom­ing sound usu­al­ly re­quires big­ger space- new ma­te­ri­als and tech­nolo­gies con­tin­ue to al­low im­prove­ments. Just like your head­phones and ear­buds have got­ten bet­ter and less ex­pen­sive, so have sound bars, all-in-one so­lu­tions that make home the­ater-qual­i­ty sound sim­ple and easy.

The Pro­fi­cient MaxTV MT2 is the lat­est and great­est mod­el from an au­dio com­pa­ny that spe­cial­izes in some pret­ty high-end au­dio­phile-grade equip­ment. This cab­i­net com­bines two sub­woofers, two tweet­ers and four mid-ranges in a pack­age that is, re­mark­ably, on­ly four inch­es high. Wide enough to ac­co­ma­date most tele­vi­sions with­out look­ing too over­whelm­ing or be­ing dwarfed, it’s per­fect for mod­ern flat pan­el TVs. Many folks buy a nice tele­vi­sion and re­ly on the built-in speak­ers, which al­ways sound ane­mic. The dif­fer­ence is amaz­ing, and well worth the price- we def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend sav­ing a bit of mon­ey or opt­ing for a small­er screen- and putting some of the sav­ings to­wards the au­dio. Your ears will thank you.

Set­up is sim­ple, since pret­ty much any TV has a few out­put op­tions, and the MaxTV MT2 ac­cepts ei­ther dig­i­tal or ana­log con­nec­tions. We placed it un­der our Sam­sung 40-inch LCD and test­ed it with a va­ri­ety of sources, in­clud­ing Blu-Ray movies via a PS3, re­cent games like Dis­hon­ored, and tele­vi­sion as well. We used op­ti­cal con­nec­tions, but RCA and coax are al­so avail­able. The re­mote is small and cred­it-card sized, and there aren’t a lot of ex­tra­ne­ous op­tions- but you can ad­just tre­ble and bass set­tings as well as turn the sim­u­lat­ed sur­round on or off. We gen­er­al­ly left it on- it helps boost the mids with­out any no­tice­able dis­tor­tion- but on some mu­sic we turned it off for a more nat­u­ral, warmer tone. There aren’t any oth­er modes- we didn’t miss them though.

If you don’t have room for mul­ti­ple speak­ers, or don’t want to snake ca­bles around and wor­ry about place­ment, sound bars are def­i­nite­ly the way to go. Ex­plo­sions sound im­pres­sive- we were blown away while watch­ing the 007 flick Quan­tum of So­lace, and were al­so sat­is­fied with DTS and Dol­by sound tests like those on Pixar films such as Rata­touille that we use to check out the sound­stage. We had to sit a bit back from the unit to get the full ef­fect- close up and you won’t feel the sur­round; gamers es­pe­cial­ly might miss the pin­point ac­cu­ra­cy that comes with a true 5.1 sys­tem. But in a larg­er room, the unit has enough pow­er to fill it and make plen­ty of beau­ti­ful noise, 80 watts in to­tal.

More than Pro­fi­cient, the MaxTV MT2 is an ex­pert when it comes to im­pres­sive sound in a tiny pack­age. We loved some of the de­sign touch­es, like the mag­net­ic re­mov­able speak­er grills. And the in­clu­sion of Blue­tooth is a pret­ty great ad­di­tion- you can con­nect your smart­phone, lap­top, or tablet and play Pan­do­ra or your mu­sic col­lec­tion from your mo­bile de­vice, wire­less­ly. As with most new­er Blue­tooth sys­tems, pair­ing takes on­ly a mo­ment, and range is de­cent- but your re­sults will def­i­nite­ly de­pend a bit on mu­sic bi­trates; Spo­ti­fy stream­ing sound­ed pret­ty flat and life­less. At $600 and avail­able now, pri­mar­i­ly on­line, we wouldn’t buy it sim­ply for that ca­pa­bil­i­ty but it’s a tasty cher­ry on the top of the best sound bar we’ve seen. Save your­self some A/V has­sles this hol­i­day sea­son, and get a small, slick unit that is per­fect for the bed­room or apart­ment.

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EXC!TE Awards
Each year, CustomRetailer invites nominations of products that stand out for being innovative, high-performing and solutions-oriented for the custom installation professional. This year’s winners stood out as particularly impressive, considering the unique challenges custom installers face every day on the job. The impact these products have on the industry is felt in the installers’ productivity, the dealers’ profitability, the clients’ satisfaction and the industry’s vitality. Congratulations to the winners!

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Top Products of CEDIA Expo 2012

Proficient Audio MaxTV MT2 Under-TV Soundbar

During the company’s CEDIA press conference, Proficient president Keith Marshall explained that approximately four out of five TVs installed in the home are placed on stands. Using this information as a starting point, Proficient designed its MT2 speaker that contains four 2.5-inch midrange drivers and two 1-inch soft-dome tweeters arranged in a left/right midrange tweeter configuration. Augmenting the speaker’s low end is a pair of 5.25-inch downward firing woofers that are set in their own sub-enclosures. Proficient adds the speaker system also includes Bluetooth to enable streaming wireless audio from mobile devices and the enclosure can support TVs weighing up to 160 pounds.

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GadgetReview four star review.

MaxTV-MT2-with-TV
Sound bars make a lot of sense, especially now that TVs have gotten so thin. There’s no space for large speakers or heavy-duty audio amplification of them. So a stand-alone set of speakers that don’t take up the space of a traditional arrangement that requires speaker stands, strung out wiring and room, sounds good. And since more people than not have their TV on a cabinet, not wall-mounted, being able to put that sound bar right up against the TV makes sense too. But being able to put the sound bar beneath the TV makes even more sense, because it doesn’t take up any space to speak of (about all it doses is raise the TV a few inches higher than it was). Of course the TV’s pedestal shouldn’t exceed that of the top of the sound bar as that way lies madness (or a really bad accident).

Hence the mindset of Proficient Audio’s MaxTV MT2 TV Sound Speaker which, by the way, is 28-inches wide but only 4-inches high. Now while there are others that might look similar from the outside, what is found inside the MaxTV is pretty different. And it’s that difference that makes for some really good audio to accompany whatever you are watching.

The chassis is solid — it had better be since it’s rated to hold a set of up to 160 pounds! That’s a real issue with a tabletop speaker — yes it’s a sound bar for sure, but since it’s designed to go under the TV, the options of wall mounting or seating it in front of the TV don’t exist so it better be able to handle some weight. Then again today’s flat panel TVs don’t weight nearly that much, even if we’re talking about a pretty large screen. So that’s all good. As is the black finish that doesn’t call attention to itself.

Proficient requires that you connect the MaxTV to your TV’s output using either a digital optical cable, coaxial or RCA stereo plugs. Of course the best output will be that which can send a digital PCM signal to the MaxTV. But since there could be a TV that doesn’t have this capability, there could have developed some pretty angry owners if not for Proficient including a Gefen digital converter (PCM to analogue stereo). This AC-powered stand-alone device converts the digital audio signal into analogue one that can be used. So regardless of your TV, you’ll be able to use it with the MaxTV.

The MaxTV has two “sets” of speakers, if you will: there’s 4 2.5-inch midrange and 2 tweeters facing you from the front; these provide the “sound” in that it’s here you get the nominal effects when watching a television broadcast or recorded content off a Blu-ray player, DVD, game console, etc. By that I mean the dialogue and left/right stereo effects, similar to that of having a left and right front speaker with a center channel between them.

The second “set” are a pair of 5.25-inch downward-firing subwoofers — one at each end on the bottom. Subs are omnidirectional, so their placement doesn’t matter, but I wondered whether being in the same cabinet as the other speakers would hurt — I know that it’s had this effect in other sound bars. But the other sound bars didn’t have the sub (or subs in this case) firing down, so there’s a difference right there. Even more to the point, the subs are in their own enclosures so they’re separated from the rest — this is the case with the speakers too as they are also in their own internal enclosures.

Now how do the subs sound? If left on default, they really make their presence known, even though the purpose of deep bass isn’t to exactly stand out and scream at you, normally speaking. And since they’re firing down, in effect the cabinet or stand that it sits on becomes one big subwoofer enclosure for amplifying the effect, aided by bass ports on the back of the chassis (as an aside, the overall bass effect will suffer if you can’t leave at least 4 inches of space between the ports and any wall or such facing it — this isn’t an issue to be concerned with as regards the front facing bass ports). I played a couple of missions of Activision’s James Bond game, 007 Legends, through my PS3 with the bass way up. Which is exactly how it should be when playing this video game. I’m talking lots of “big booms” here so the subs were working overtime to provide that. Teeth shaking stuff — just the way I like it (and my dental work doesn’t). This didn’t allow for the speakers to show off, but who the heck cares? Save that for the movies….

Now this is as good a place as any to note that there’s no LCD panel so you’re relying on a series of different colored LEDs to tell you what is going on, for example, a solid red that tells you the MaxTV is off or a slow blue flash to indicate Mute has been selected. The included remote handles this directly for change settings, such as the volume or mute, which input is being used, adjustment of treble and bass and whether the simulated surround mode is on or off. So start with the MaxTV at its default settings and go from there: in my case I lowered the bass settings a bit as it wasn’t appropriate for my watching in the bedroom in the evening (which is when the TV here is mostly used). Had I been using it with a TV in the living room, I would have notched the bass setting up a bit to compensate for the larger space — there’s a built-in limiter to keep the bass from becoming too “Boomtastic,” by the way, which was good during my Bond fantasy.

Let me add one thing here — you’re doing yourself a disservice by being right in front of the TV when you’ve the MaxTV beneath it. While this can be normal behavior for those watching in the bedroom (and especially when playing a video game), being right on top of the MaxTV makes the stereo effect, to start, less effective. It also makes the simulated surround puny to nonexistent. When I tried it out with my 55-inch, I was a good 8 feet back at minimum and that worked fine. But when I was up close and personal playing the video game, “meh” is all I can say about getting any “surround” to hit me.

And perusing the specs to see that the total wattage for the MaxTV is 80 watts – okay that might not sound like a whole lot, but each of the 4 20-watt digital amps are designed to work in concert so as to really pump out a vibrant sound. This they do partly because of the enclosures that the speakers are encased in, and partly due to the fact that Proficient makes really good speakers and what’s being used here isn’t the leftovers.

Oh — the wood-framed front grill can be removed to expose the speakers. Doing this can enhance the sound, according to some, but looks pretty cool according to everybody. It might not be the best way to go, considering the level of airborne dust you can get on it, but looks always takes precedence over sensibility. Ahem — back to that grill, rather than nubs or tabs, it’s held in place magnetically — that’s cool in itself but even more to the point it points to how Proficient isn’t making just “another” vanilla plain sound bar.

But getting back to how the MaxTV sounds overall. Good, really good. In the basic mode (meaning no simulated surround and bass set back to a reasonable level), you get “clean” dialogue and a well modulated sound-field where music and sound effects are concerned. Watching broadcast TV sitcoms brought out voices which were clear and easily understood, while “canned” content, being Blu-ray movies, sounded more intense — taking the volume up didn’t’ bring in any distortions or hiss. The subs meanwhile didn’t have as much to do with TV shows, but pulled more weight with the “canned” content.

Switching to the simulated surround and watching a Blu-ray movie, in this case Dark Shadows (Johnny Depp), tells a different story: here the subs really get a chance to “stretch” and the “surround sound” effect is more evident. You can definitely increase the volume in this case — I did and yeah it really helps the film to be nice and loud, neighbors be damned. Suggestion: don’t have anything small and lightweight on the cabinet if you boost the subwoofers towards the high end — they will start shaking and could fall off. The speakers, meanwhile, didn’t hide behind the subs — a scene with pounding surf came through distinctly with that “whoosh” that water makes for example.

You’re probably used to listening to your smartphone’s playlist using Bluetooth on some rinky-dinky wireless speaker. Me too. But since MaxTV can do Bluetooth, using it shows just how crappy the lorez stuff I have on my iPhone sounds. But when I ran with higher bit-rates, boy does it sound good. Pretty much as good as if it was coming off a pair of tower speakers through a reasonably powerful amp. Plus the advantage here is that you’ll probably have the MaxTV in the bedroom, which makes perfectly good sense for listening to your music to begin with. The pairing is initiated via the remote and then done in the normal fashion we’ve all gotten used to for iOS/Android devices

Editor’s Rating: Great

Bottom Line:

A tabletop speaker that holds a TV can be the best sound bar you can get — providing that you’ve a cabinet-based TV and you’re using the MaxTV MT2 TV Sound Speaker. The retail price of 9 reflects the fact that Proficient packed the insides with quality audio components. They definitely do the job.
Pros

Handy EQ reset button on remote
Dual 5.25-inch subwoofers
Subwoofer grills can be removed for cleaning
Cons

Top surface can be scratched/marred by careless placement of TV
LED indicators requiring memorization

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“Proficient Audio launches MaxTV MT2 speaker box, soundbars start job hunt” Engadget

MaxTV™ High-Performance TV Speaker
According to Proficient’s Loren Maldoon, “It’s rare to find a TV with good sound. And I’ve never heard one with great sound. It’s no wonder. The limited space available inside a TV cabinet has been a barrier to good on-board TV sound for years. Now with today’s flat panels, it would be difficult for TV designers to even consider great sound in a TV as a goal. The only real way to get high quality TV sound today is with an outboard solution. But, for many situations a full-blown home theater sound system isn’t practical. A lot of soundbars just don’t begin to make it to the level we would consider acceptable. So, we approached the challenge from a whole new direction. We asked, what if we designed a sound system that was a platform for the display? The answer was Proficient MaxTV. Our first TV Speaker, the MT2 is perfect for people who want great sound but don’t want to fill their room with speakers and electronics.”

“In creating Proficient MaxTV, our design and engineering team set up performance goals, focusing on voice intelligibility, dynamic range and tonal accuracy. This is important for movies and TV, and, is also essential for music listeners. Given this approach, the MT2 really sounds great with music program material too,” continued Maldoon. In addition, there is a selectable DSP to enhance the sound field.

MaxTV includes Bluetooth so end-users can stream music from their smartphones, tablets or computers. They can even up the experience of watching video or playing games on those devices by streaming the audio to the MT2.”

The Proficient MaxTV contains four 2½” midranges and two 1″ soft dome tweeters, front-mounted in a stereo Mid-Tweeter-Mid configuration. The left and right speaker systems are in their own internal enclosures. The powerful low end is produced by two 5¼” down-firing subwoofers, each in their own tuned and vented internal enclosures.

MaxTV uses four 20 Watt (RMS) digital amplifiers. The four amps are run in a 2 channel bi-amplified configuration. The two 5 ¼” low frequency drivers are each direct coupled to their own 20 Watt amp. The remaining two 20 Watt amps each drive the left and right front firing drivers. An on-board limiter protects the woofer’s driver being over-powered and maintains clean and undistorted sound, at any output level.

The Proficient MT2 TV Speaker works with TVs mounted on stands or wall mounted. Used as a TV platform, the MT2 can support up to 160 pounds.

The Big Red Button Demo Kit
Proficient believes that once someone hears the difference MaxTV makes, they will buy it. Given this, Proficient will have “The Big Red Button” a 4″ x 4″ button that will let dealers compare the TV sound system and then MaxTV. Proficient dealers should contact their local Proficient rep for details.

Proficient MaxTV is shipping now with an MSRP of $599.

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New C600 offers high performance at a surprisingly affordable price.

Proficient Audio introduces the C600, a new in-ceiling speaker that delivers exceptional value in response to dealer installer demands.

“An inexpensive, entry-level 6½-inch ceiling speaker is important for our dealers. The everyday price means that a dealer can pick it up any day of the week and not have to wait for a sales promotion,” Proficient Audio president Keith Marshall said. “Dealers have been telling us that it’s difficult for them to sell a budget speaker that doesn’t have good sound quality. We challenged our guys to develop a speaker that sounded great, and we think they succeeded. This little guy punches above its weight class.”

The woofer in the C600 uses a polypropylene cone, well known for being stiff yet light for good bass with low distortion. The C600’s ½-inch fixed position polyethylene dome tweeter perfectly complements the polypropylene woofer – it’s light, fast and features wide dispersion.

The 8 Ohm C600 is rated to handle maximum power of 75 watts, and produces a frequency response of 55Hz to 20kHz with a high sensitivity of 89dB 1W/1m. Suggested retail price of the C600 is $130 per pair. It’s shipping and available now.

About Proficient Audio
Proficient is a leading brand in the dealer-installed home audio market, with single-brand system solutions and an extensive line of speakers for whole-house, home theater and outdoor audio systems. Proficient also offers receivers, amplifiers, multi-room audio controllers, control keypads and an extensive selection of accessories — everything needed to build high-quality home sound systems.

Proficient Audio is a division of SpeakerCraft LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nortek, Inc. Since its founding in 2001, Proficient Audio has delivered top-notch product and industry-leading service. It is now known as one of the residential custom install industry’s most innovative brands. For more information, go to www.proficientaudio.com or write to us at Proficient Audio, 940 Columbia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92507. Our toll-free phone number is (877) 888-9004 and we can be faxed at (951) 750-6304.

Posted in Press Releases Tagged

Flagship GL6 Cabinet Loudspeaker Designed for Two-Channel and High-End Cinema Systems

Proficient, best known for serious dedication to unsurpassed sonic quality, today introduced the Proficient Signature Series GL6 cabinet loudspeaker, a one-of-a-kind statement of power and performance designed for two-channel and larger home theater jobs.

The GL6 is the flagship of Proficient’s lineup of loudspeakers. The principal design is dual 6-1/2 inch woofers and a one-inch tweeter, housed in a cabinet with a luxurious 7-layer high-gloss piano black finish.

““We really owe our acoustics engineers for this one. Both are committed, career loudspeaker devotees who came up through the ranks in recording studios and tour sound. They took an aggressive set of performance criteria and turned it into a truly formidable loudspeaker. Their efforts are obvious and the results are outstanding. The GL6 loudspeaker will sit at the very top of our brand,” said Keith Marshall, President of Proficient.

The GL6 uses dual Injected Molded Graphite woofers in every cabinet. These provide a focused vertical output and wide horizontal dispersion pattern. The result is higher output and lower distortion over a single woofer system. Simply put, the woofers don’t work as hard and create less distortion, resulting in much cleaner and more detailed sound. The woofers produce solid, deep bass with a very natural, yet detailed, mid‐range. To enhance bass performance, the GL6 uses a bass‐reflex design with dual flared‐end port tubes. These tune the enclosure and minimize both air turbulence and port compression, providing maximum bass performance at roll‐off.

For high frequency reproduction, the GL6 uses a 1‐inch voice coil diameter silk dome tweeter. Silk is a great material for tweeters since it is lightweight and holds its shape, but remains flexible enough to produce high frequencies with good bandwidth and sensitivity. By nature of its dome shape, it provides excellent off‐axis response, working well in the Woofer – Tweeter – Woofer configuration. A second order crossover topology is used in the GL6 to provide optimum summing at the crossover frequency and protection to the high‐frequency driver components.

“Proficient has really taken to using Injected Molded Graphite woofers and silk dome tweeters over the last few years. This combination sounds awesome and they have become our drivers of choice,” Marshall said.

Aesthetics accompany high performance in the GL6 system loudspeaker. The enclosure has an environmentally friendly, seven-layer, high‐gloss black finish. The coating helps to acoustically seal and dampen the enclosure. An easy-to-remove treated wood frame cloth grille with Neo magnets completes the contemporary aesthetic of the GL6 system.

“The GL6 is a superb match to all of the high-end 7.1 receivers and high-current 2-channel amps on the market today. We’ve also been playing the GL6’s with our new Proficient ZEROTM wireless 35W x 2 digital receiver and they sound awesome, the GL6 just won’t fold up,” Marshall noted. “We’re getting stunning results because the Texas Instruments EquibitTM chipset which pushes digital sound reproduction to the highest level of fidelity available today. The GL6 sounds incredible when coupled with the new Proficient Zero new digital receiver.”

“Our dealers will now have a top-notch, drop-dead gorgeous product in the Proficient Signature Series GL6, a loudspeaker that will more than satisfy any of the demanding situations that they encounter.

The GL6 has an MSRP of $750 each. It is backed by a 10-year full warranty and begins shipping in Q3 2012.

About Proficient Audio
Proficient is a leading brand in the dealer-installed home audio market, with single-brand system solutions and an extensive line of speakers for whole-house, home theater and outdoor audio systems. Proficient also offers receivers, amplifiers, multi-room audio controllers, control keypads and an extensive selection of accessories — everything needed to build high-quality home sound systems.

Proficient Audio is a division of SpeakerCraft LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nortek, Inc. Since its founding in 2001, Proficient Audio has delivered top-notch product and industry-leading service. It is now known as one of the residential custom install industry’s most innovative brands. For more information, go to www.proficientaudio.com or write to us at Proficient Audio, 940 Columbia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92507. Our toll-free phone number is (877) 888-9004 and we can be faxed at (951) 750-6304.

Posted in Press Releases

GS10 Performance and Aesthetics Designed to Mate With New GL6

Consumer Electronic Week 2012

New York City, New York
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Proficient Audio today augmented its subwoofer line with the GS10, their new top-of-the line, floor-standing sub. The 10” sub has a long-excursion, treated paper cone woofer coupled with a 250-watt Class D amplifier. With a frequency response of 28 Hz to 200 Hz, the GS10 can deliver high output, low distortion and excellent resolution of bass detail.

“When we release a new subwoofer, all our dealers expect exceptional performance and the kind of reliability that they have come to expect from all of our other powered subs.” said Keith Marshall, President of Proficient. “With its elegant 7 layer black gloss finish, one might be tempted to dismiss its performance, but don’t. There is power and agility hiding under all that gloss.” Marshall continued.

To achieve fast and accurate low frequency response, the 10” GS10 woofer cone is formulated with a blend of paper-pulp and a mixture of strengthening materials. The voice-coil is constructed with high temperature fiberglass and SV wire that maximize durability and improve power handling. A large-radius surround controls excursion demands and voice-coil alignment at all drive levels to minimize distortion and maximize power handling.

A phase switch provides phase adjustment to ensure optimum coherence with the main speakers. Inputs provided are Left and Right, summed internally and LFE inputs, using filter settings from sources that provide LFE output.

“The GS10 sub was developed in parallel with our new GL6 dual-woofer cabinet loudspeaker. If you pair a couple of GS10 with two of our GL6, it makes for a potent combination, delivering high performance and stunning aesthetics. The Proficient Signature System is designed to be used in a 2.1, 5.1 or 7.1 home theater. These are Proficient’s highest-performance products, They’re fast and detailed and have the power to reproduce the most demanding music and movie soundtracks.” said Marshall.

“The Proficient Signature System gives our dealers an excellent choice for their more discriminating clients where top-end performance and great cosmetics are all important, and, when isn’t it anyway?” concludes Marshall.

The GS10 subwoofer has an MSRP of $900. The Proficient Signature System MSRP is $3,300 for two GS10 subs and two GL6 loudspeakers. Product ships in Q3 2012.

About Proficient Audio
Proficient is a leading brand in the dealer-installed home audio market, with single-brand system solutions and an extensive line of speakers for whole-house, home theater and outdoor audio systems. Proficient also offers receivers, amplifiers, multi-room audio controllers, control keypads and an extensive selection of accessories — everything needed to build high-quality home sound systems.

Proficient Audio is a division of SpeakerCraft LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nortek, Inc. Since its founding in 2001, Proficient Audio has delivered top-notch product and industry-leading service. It is now known as one of the residential custom install industry’s most innovative brands. For more information, go to www.proficientaudio.com or write to us at Proficient Audio, 940 Columbia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92507. Our toll-free phone number is (877) 888-9004 and we can be faxed at (951) 750-6304.

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