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Old 09-23-2006   #26
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by demon2091tb
Is synching up pairs of drivers with TA ok to get a uniform PLD between all drivers on a singular plane perpindicular to the dash, basically alighning the whole soundstage to the depth of the mid under the dash.....Does this make sense and actually hold water to being a good starting point to realistic depth??
why, yes it does

Midrange in kicks for farthest distance to your ears, and best possible L/R pathlength equalization ... critical in midbass/midrange ... for best possible stage width & depth. Tweets in pillars for stage height ... since ears only begin to notice height in the treble (perhaps upper midrange ... but nothing's perfect). Time align to the farthest drivers ... namely, the kicks ... with parallel alignment. Add some delta alignment when you only care about one passenger (or driver) at a time.

It's a GREAT compromise ... hard to beat, in fact, if you care at all about a realistic soundstage in the car.

If you don't care about spatial reproduction in your vehicle ... why not listen in mono?
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Old 09-23-2006   #27
 
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Good deal, i had honestly been wondering this myself, domes in kicks, and domes in pillars, but just wasn't sure if this was working like i had been thinking it had. I'm going after a 2seat car if possible, i hate it so much when i have someone drive me in my car, and the passengers seat just sounds so lifeless, and utterly boring. So i'd like to have the best compromise (more like the best possible sound for both seats), with my very little experience, being my first 4way, and 2nd install.
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Old 09-24-2006   #28
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Just some comments on psychoacoutics if they haven't already been mentioned....

Imaging clues of near-field sources come from ITD and IID (Interaural Time Difference and Interaural Intensity Difference, respectively).

ITD is typically used by the brain to localize low frequency sources (ie. below 500hz).
IID is typically used by the brain to localize high frequency sources (ie. above 1khz).

So what does this tell you? Well, for low frequency content that is localized by ITD (ie. lower midrange and midbass), it is imperative that PLD (Path Length Difference) is as equal as possible. Of course, physical equality is best... But for high frequency content that is localized by IID, SPL is the key factor: if you can get SPL equal at the ear from the left and right sides, there should be fairly little difference.

Of course, above 4khz, frequencies are attenuated by the head for the far side ear. A sound to your left will appear to have different spectracl content compared to the right ear. This is called HRTF (Head Related Transfer Function) and depends on the shape of your head.

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Old 09-24-2006   #29
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

It is great to have the depth of knowledge we are so lucky to have on this forum, thanks for sharing it with us, all that have done so

I have tried many if not most of the install ideas presented here as well as many others. I spent months on my Dynaudio dome mids and tweets in the kick panels trying to get everything just right, what helped alot was blocking some of the output of the mids. The wide dispersion pattern was the hardest to deal with until I poped off the grill and lined the inside with a layer of Ensolite foam with a 1.25" hole cut in the center. But, no matter how many aim points, listening by ear, laser pointer, long dowel methods I used, stage height and depth were just not very good. Finally I succumed to a recommendation of adding a second set of tweeters to the A pillars, crossfiring, very low level output, I think I was around 5khz or so(tried alot of freqs) and finally had it down right. Good enough to win in SQ over a prior world champ by 11 points, shocked us both and it was my 5th competition ever.

Physical location, aiming, crossover freq, phase, etc, all need to come first. TA is a band aid, fix all you can physically then if abosulutely nessesay try a bit of TA, too much and things go bad really quickly.

Even though we want it all, I will give up a bit of imaging, etc, perfection for more musicality anyday. Having both working well together is the desired goal of course and it can be done and is wonderful to hear.

Also, build your system to sound as good as possibly to your ears, in your car, and do not worry that it may or may not sound the same as some reference home audio system. I find that to be an absured measuring stick for two totally different situations.

I have found I much prefer a great sounding car system over a great sounding home system, there are things we can do in a vehicle that just are not very possible to do in a home audio environment, and then play to the high level it is best at without distrubing those around you. In a car, roll up the windows and have some fun

As a matter of fact, roll down the windows if you have done like I have with alot of none reflective surfaces, I can crank up my system quite loudly and outside the vehicle it is not all that noticable.

Bottom line for me, build it right, tune it right, enjoy the music for what you can achieve in a vehicle, who cares if it is the same in a home system (again I much prefer a great sounding vehicle over a great sounding home system)


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Old 09-24-2006   #30
 
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Kicks and there success depend greatly on the vehicle as well...

saw this on Carsound. Not commenting on the door pods, but look at the space, or lack thereof in the passenger floorboard.



Seats up high, huge center console etc... would make this a terrible vehicle for kicks, as they'd get blocked no matter how the passenger sat. And the driver side would be just as bad, if not worse.

Lower cars, with the seats low and back, and small or no center consoles are the best bet for kicks.
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Old 09-27-2006   #31
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuyler1
I think that some people go a little crazy with angling the speakers. Granted some speakers have better on-axis response than off, but the difference is usually minimal and can be fixed with an EQ. Once you are willing to sacrifice the angle of the speaker in the kickpanel, you will realize it is very easy to install 3", 4" and often 5.25" speakers without taking up floor space.

When it comes to tweeters in kicks, I am not a big fan at all. All of the successful renditions of tweeter kicks I have heard were in show-vehicles that had the seats pushed back so far you couldn't drive the car. That is not practical and it defeats the entire purpose of car audio. People doing that might as well just pick up home audio as a hobby instead. With the seat in a normal driving position, the high frequencies easily reflect off your leg drawing the stage down even lower than intended. Furthermore, a passenger's leg and foot may completely block the tweeter which changes the sound of the system drastically as they shift around in the seat. So I just put my tweeters up high and as far away as possible and deal with the reflections. At least it makes for an enjoyable listening experience in any seat position with or with out a passenger.

I also have some comments about large drivers in kicks. I believe you must utilize the door locations to get any kind of midbass up front. There simply isn't enough airspace in kicks for 6.5" woofers to truely shine in this department. I tried this once and was very unhappy with the results. No amount of ventilation and polyfill could clean up the midbass region and get rid of the nasty peaks. Since then, all of my kickpanel installs have been 4-way (T,MR,MB,SW) designs with a larger woofer in the door. And since you can't utilize the lower range of a 6.5" driver mounted in a kick, you might as well stick to 3", 4", and 5.25" drivers which fit better anyway.

Like your install. How does having the tweets facing each other sound? could you tell me what tweeter you are using?

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Old 09-28-2006   #32
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

I have the complete DLS Iridium 6.3 set but I sold the crossovers and run them active. The tweets can be a little harsh around 4KHz because of the windshield but I just tune it down a little. Stage height is unbelievable, width is pretty decent, and depth is OK. Its the best system I've installed to date but I really don't have much to compare with.

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Old 09-28-2006   #33
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by werewolf
It's a GREAT compromise ... hard to beat, in fact, if you care at all about a realistic soundstage in the car.

If you don't care about spatial reproduction in your vehicle ... why not listen in mono?
I know you said this sort of tongue-in-cheek, but I think your use of hyperbole here could give people the wrong impression. I think all too often too many compromises are made in the name of "imaging" and "soundstage". Good imaging is great, but let's keep in mind that many recordings aren't mastered with imaging in mind. Spatial PRODUCTION is an afterthought a lot of times, making the importance of spatial REproduction overblown.

Personally, I'd sacrifice the image if it meant perfecting the FR or preserving asthetic and functional qualities of the car. I mostly agree with opponents of the ankle level speaker installations, but for different reasons. I think occlusion (symmetrical or not) should be avoided at all costs because of the disruption in FR moreso than its effect on the soundstage (not that the two are completely unrelated). I also think it's worth mentioning that midbass installation in the kick panels is often not feasible for precisely this reason. Venting outside of the car and whatever other tricks people are doing can be a major modification that some folks aren't willing to make.
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Old 09-28-2006   #34
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

It's generally been my experience that kicks offer better tonal qualities than do dash mounted drivers. The fr deviations due to diffraction and obstruction can usually be overcome quite effectively with an eq, whereas it's much more difficult to correct tonal imbalances due to heavy reflections off the glass and dash.

A speaker is only as good as the room you put it in.
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Old 09-28-2006   #35
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

no fundamental disagreement Mark, but perhaps a counterpoint of sorts would be : show me the mounting location in a car that doesn't significantly alter the measured or specified frequency response of a driver? Don't like higher-frequency drivers down low because of blocking/diffraction, how about higher-frequency drivers mounted higher introducing nasty reflections? And which frequency response aberrations are easier to equalize (hint : don't waste too much time trying to invert a comb null)?

Know what I mean? Yes ... it's all a compromise, depending on your tastes and what is significant to you in stereo reproduction. To state that one choice is unequivocally bad for all tastes ... and all vehicles, as Wes points out ... is quite narrow-minded.

It's a valid point, though, that in the "con" category of kickpanel installations, we should add : significant fabrication work required to execute properly. I really suspect that this is often the most significant reason why kick locations are avoided.
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Old 09-28-2006   #36
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by werewolf
no fundamental disagreement Mark, but perhaps a counterpoint of sorts would be : show me the mounting location in a car that doesn't significantly alter the measured or specified frequency response of a driver? Don't like higher-frequency drivers down low because of blocking/diffraction, how about higher-frequency drivers mounted higher introducing nasty reflections? And which frequency response aberrations are easier to equalize (hint : don't waste too much time trying to invert a comb null)?

Know what I mean? Yes ... it's all a compromise, depending on your tastes and what is significant to you in stereo reproduction. To state that one choice is unequivocally bad for all tastes ... and all vehicles, as Wes points out ... is quite narrow-minded.

It's a valid point, though, that in the "con" category of kickpanel installations, we should add : significant fabrication work required to execute properly. I really suspect that this is often the most significant reason why kick locations are avoided.

what tweeters would you suggest for an a pillar install? i would be using morel mids in the lower front part of the door. i prefer a tweeter that would be laid back. or is that more in tuning?

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Old 09-28-2006   #37
 
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by legend94
what tweeters would you suggest for an a pillar install? i would be using morel mids in the lower front part of the door. i prefer a tweeter that would be laid back. or is that more in tuning?
I believe the idea for a pillar tweeters is to choose a tweeter with a narrow dispersion pattern. This will help to limit the amount of reflections from the windshield, dash, etc. For compact domes, maybe try a MB Quart QTD25 or Morel MT22/23.
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Old 09-28-2006   #38
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlanetGranite
I believe the idea for a pillar tweeters is to choose a tweeter with a narrow dispersion pattern. This will help to limit the amount of reflections from the windshield, dash, etc. For compact domes, maybe try a MB Quart QTD25 or Morel MT22/23.
Im looking for a tweeter that is a not a metal dome and has a shallow surface mount. Good idea on the narrow dispersion. Any other ideas?

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Old 09-28-2006   #39
 
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

I'm actually running LPG 26's in my pillars, off axis is amazing for the driver, and i beleive that the offaxis firing right at eachother or slightly in does the best for them....enough offaxis to add a spacious sound, but accurate and detailed enough to definetly know when the staging changes from L to R.

I don't think narrow dispersion for tweets in pillars is a general idea.....i think it depends on what your looking for and such.

BTW xover points are around 8k @12-18db, i forget really, also used them down to 4k 24db really well. NP at all with the offaxis response.
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Old 09-28-2006   #40
 
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

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Old 09-29-2006   #41
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by npdang
It's generally been my experience that kicks offer better tonal qualities than do dash mounted drivers. The fr deviations due to diffraction and obstruction can usually be overcome quite effectively with an eq, whereas it's much more difficult to correct tonal imbalances due to heavy reflections off the glass and dash.
I don't disagree. EQ can really open up the possibilities in terms of driver selection and installation location. By no means did I intend for my post to be a criticism against kicks in all situations, but I think it's important to point out that most people don't EQ (tsk tsk) for FR issues arising from installation or inherent to the driver itself. The obvious recommendation, then, is to add EQ. But it's not always within the person's budget or, for whatever reason, their design goal.

Anyway, my main point was to tout the virtues of a superior FR, regardless of how you achieve it. In some cases, a dash or upper door install is the better option for achieving that goal.
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Old 09-29-2006   #42
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by werewolf
no fundamental disagreement Mark, but perhaps a counterpoint of sorts would be : show me the mounting location in a car that doesn't significantly alter the measured or specified frequency response of a driver? Don't like higher-frequency drivers down low because of blocking/diffraction, how about higher-frequency drivers mounted higher introducing nasty reflections? And which frequency response aberrations are easier to equalize (hint : don't waste too much time trying to invert a comb null)?

Know what I mean? Yes ... it's all a compromise, depending on your tastes and what is significant to you in stereo reproduction. To state that one choice is unequivocally bad for all tastes ... and all vehicles, as Wes points out ... is quite narrow-minded.

It's a valid point, though, that in the "con" category of kickpanel installations, we should add : significant fabrication work required to execute properly. I really suspect that this is often the most significant reason why kick locations are avoided.
Fair enough. I would argue, however, that the FR irregularities introduced by a kick panel installation (generally speaking, of course) tend to be greater than that of comb filtering and reflections and whatnot. Do I have any data to back this assertion up? None at all.
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Old 09-29-2006   #43
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

I think we agree Mark ... or pretty close anyway And after re-reading my post, of course I didn't mean to suggest that you were narrow-minded!
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Old 09-29-2006   #44
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

You know it's a fair starting point, I think, when designing a system to ask : what can be fixed electronically, and what needs to be addressed physically? What's in my budget for electronic compensation, and what's in my skill set for fabrication? And as I think we've all agreed, what's important to me in reproduction ... tonality, dynamics, staging, etc ?
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Old 11-27-2006   #45
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Well this thread kinda died, just before things got interesting So let's spark things up a bit, shall we?

I'll start with a couple of common objections against kickpanel speaker locations, and provide some comments (hoepfully, thought-provoking) for each :

1. My ears are not at my ankles, why put speakers down there?

Several comments against this common objection:

- The objection fails by logical extension. If we only put speakers "where our ears are", we would all be listening to headphones only. In home audio, speakers are often placed (largely) in front of us ... and my ears are on the sides of my head, not the front.

- One may say, as a corollary to the objection ... "well, moving the speakers UP at least gets them closer to your ears." Agreed ... but the problem is, moving speakers closer to your ears is not, by any means, always a smart thing to do. In fact, maximizing pathlengths in the car (while minimizing pathlength differences) is almost always a good thing ... if you care about accurate spatial reproduction.

- The objection fails to recognize how we locate sound sources, and what location cues can ... and can't ... be fixed by aiming and electronic equalization (covered earlier).

2. I don't place speakers on the floor in home audio.

- No, you probably don't. But if you care about accurate spatial reproduction, you most likely maximize pathlengths while minimizing pathlength differences. And it just so happens, that optimizing these constraints ... in a car ... means kickpanel locations (in most vehicles).

- I listen (sometimes) to my beloved Martin Logan Electrostats at home. Does it make me a hypocrite if I don't listen to them in a car? Or ... just perhaps ... are the constraints in a vehicle sometimes a bit different than those in a home?

3. Legs get in the way of the sound.

- Yes they can ... depending on wavelengths, of course ... think diffraction. Remember ... no one is suggesting that all drivers necessarily belong in the kicks But the tradeoff in moving drivers up higher is introducing more nasty reflections ... under-dash areas can be treated more readily, to help tame reflections, than glass you must see through.

I think the real mesage of this thread (if i may ... hey i am the one who started it, ya know ) is that car audio is all about compromise. There's no single best way to do anything. Optimization in the face of several variables ... often conflicting ... means compromise. The educated are better positioned to sort through the compromises than the opinionated.
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Old 11-27-2006   #46
 
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Definentnly agree with compromises, on every level.

I'm still trying to get my 2-5khz area cleaned up, some music hurts, and others just seems to be highly lacking, i can't get it right.

But my image is very high, yet i can't even with EQ seem to figure out whats happening, and ways of correcting it, as EQ cuts only come back to bother me in later songs or instances......Especially upper electric guitar solo's and riffs.....

Just can't seem to chase it down, tweets in pillars offaxis, midranges in kicks offaxis.....just can't get it right.
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Old 11-27-2006   #47
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Well said mister big bad wolfman!!! I could not agree more.

----------------

I recommend and have done a number of installs with pillar tweets and mids in the doors due to the compromises of budget constraints, time alloted, room to work with, etc, etc... and been happy with the somewhat limited results. BUT, if I had mids in the kicks, I would have tweeters there as well, as I do in my Tacoma which has a very small cabin and very short pathlenghts but I made it work wonderfully and without using TA(major band aid I always try to avoid by doing the best physical location I can first)

I have had full size tweeters and 7" midbasses in kicks in my Taco since 1989 or so, it can be done
-----------------

Rick

2012 Duramax dually, high end audio going in, of course
2012 Voltage 3905 toyhauler, going full time RV soon
2007 4Runner V8 love it but for sale
2002 Z06 Vette/53 Studebaker Pro Tour project For Sale
1997 318ti street/track/RV 1995 M3 race car parting out
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Old 11-27-2006   #48
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by werewolf
Case-in-point : consider that vertical cues don't begin until maybe 1~2kHz. How can the ear possibly localize a dedicated midbass driver (up to ~200Hz, for example), in the vertical plane? Simple answer : it can't. There's a "circle of confusion" regarding the midbass ... as long as a midbass driver is generating the same ITD's to your ears, one location can't be localized, or differentiated, from another. So why would a dedicated midbass need to be physically located in close proximity to a tweet? Perhaps to satisfy your eyes ... because your ears certainly can't tell.
This helped me more than anything on getting my sound stage the way I want it.(its not perfect, but the best its ever been)
I did some reading on this and other things you have written, and I must say its great.
In my two previous cars, I had very modified Q-Logics.......I was going to make custom kicks for the car I have now, but decided against it after reading some of your threads.
I went with 6 inch mids in the doors(which are all the way at the front bottom of the door) and .8 inch dome tweets in the A-pillar(3 inches above the highest point of the dash via suggestions from Rick )
I have yet to do any eq work....just did a -6db gain control and it blends better than I could have hoped. Im sure it will only get better when I work with it more.

So big thanks to Werewolf and Raamaudio

Alpine 164--Alpine V9--ScanSpeak D3004--Alpine SPX-17Pro--(2)DIYMA12
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Old 11-27-2006   #49
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

thats my debate right now, I can't make up my mind wheter to re do my kicks with the hiqophon 0w1-fs and try soem new angles for more height or jsut add the second tweet...

argghhhh
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Old 11-27-2006   #50
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Default Re: kickpanel speaker locations : pros, cons

... by the way, almost exactly none of this originated with me, of course. I've learned a lot from some of the world's best car audio minds A great reference is, of course, the AutoSound2000 Tech Briefs (I think that's the official name) from Clark/Navone ... where kickpanel locations were discussed in great detail, over a decade ago.
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