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Thread: RTiA7 amp?

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    Default RTiA7 amp?

    So, I am expecting my RTi A7`s very soon. In all of my research, I know that folks say the the RTiA`s need "good power". So is "good power" defined by a wattage number or is it simply something you hear? I have a Pioneer Elite VSX-01 thx. Claims 110wpc in stereo and strangely 110wpc in 5.1 as well. Okay that is BS, but would ya`ll consider my AVR as having "good power"? My surrounds and (for now) center channel are Klipsch and quite high sensitivity(93db), so I am thinking that they will leave a little leftover wattage for the towers????
    I guess my question is, should I save my pennies for a decent power amp, or to replace all my Klipsch speakers w/ RTiA line? P.S. got a good Velodyne sub and am 50/50 movie/music. Room is 25` long by 14 wide and 7+` ceilings

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    Your AVR has good power, for an AVR. When I bought my A5's, I compared them to the A7 and A9's on a mid level AVR. The A5's sounded better than the other 2 to my ears. They simply didn't have enough power, which degraded their sound. So you need power for all of those drivers. Most people would recomend 250 watts, but the A7's you could probably power with a little less.

    Your AVR will probably play those speakers, and they may even sound good to your ears. The problem is they will only be recieving about 75 watts or so. They won't sound as good as they could sound with more clean power feeding them.

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    I have the RTiA9 fronts, Pioneer VSX9040THX Average power output 110WPC and power output of 150WPC, from the manual. Would or should I need a power amp for the RTiA9, thinking Emotiva amp 200WPC X3 @ 8 OHMs, 300WPC X3 @ 4 OHMs
    Thoughts.
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by hosedagain View Post
    I have the RTiA9 fronts, Pioneer VSX9040THX Average power output 110WPC and power output of 150WPC, from the manual. Would or should I need a power amp for the RTiA9, thinking Emotiva amp 200WPC X3 @ 8 OHMs, 300WPC X3 @ 4 OHMs
    Thoughts.
    Thanks
    It isn't really a matter of "need", but a matter of whether you're giving them enough power to really shine. If you're happy with the way they sound off your AVR, then you don't "need" anything more.

    It's also a matter of whether it's QUALITY amplification. Most AVRs tend to use amp sections with a relatively low damping factor, and when you wire up your towers with the typical 14AWG wire, you're then lowering that damping factor at the speakers themselves. Normally, not a problem since (depending on your ears) so long as you're still above 50-ish at the speaker, most won't notice a difference in how well bass is controlled. For most enthusiasts, however, >200 at the speaker is more ideal from solid state amplification. For instance, if you have a 110w amp section with the typical AVR damping factor of 60 and you run 6 feet of 14AWG cabling with an 8 ohm speaker, you're down to a damping factor of 48 at the speaker because of the resistance of the wire (and worse if you take the crossover section of the speaker into account). But then, if you hooked up an amp with the same wattage but a >500 damping factor and used something like BJC's 10AWG speaker cables to connect your speakers at that same length and resistance, you're looking at a damping factor at the speaker of 285 or better. Simplistically, better damping factor at the speaker can equal tighter control of the drivers and less related distortion/alteration of the source material.

    There are many other factors, but the long and short of it is... more wattage + better damping factor + better cabling = better controlled speakers. Whether you will notice or not is subjective... and whether you're even stressing the AVR's amp now is dependent upon your typical listening levels. That said, I added the XPA-3 that you're talking about to my Onkyo 1007 and even at lower levels, it gave me a much nicer sound out of my towers. Plus, when I crank it up for movies, it seems much less strained. Just watched The Hobbit at about -13dB from reference two nights ago... External amplification = totally worth it to me. And my towers aren't nearly as demanding as the RTiA7 or RTiA9, so I imagine you'll hear an improvement. Good luck on your journey.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtnpolk View Post
    So, I am expecting my RTi A7`s very soon. In all of my research, I know that folks say the the RTiA`s need "good power". So is "good power" defined by a wattage number or is it simply something you hear? I have a Pioneer Elite VSX-01 thx. Claims 110wpc in stereo and strangely 110wpc in 5.1 as well. Okay that is BS, but would ya`ll consider my AVR as having "good power"? My surrounds and (for now) center channel are Klipsch and quite high sensitivity(93db), so I am thinking that they will leave a little leftover wattage for the towers????
    I guess my question is, should I save my pennies for a decent power amp, or to replace all my Klipsch speakers w/ RTiA line? P.S. got a good Velodyne sub and am 50/50 movie/music. Room is 25` long by 14 wide and 7+` ceilings
    Quote Originally Posted by hosedagain View Post
    I have the RTiA9 fronts, Pioneer VSX9040THX Average power output 110WPC and power output of 150WPC, from the manual. Would or should I need a power amp for the RTiA9, thinking Emotiva amp 200WPC X3 @ 8 OHMs, 300WPC X3 @ 4 OHMs
    Thoughts.
    Thanks
    Welcome to Club Polk!

    By all means go for it. The vast majority of receivers aren't able to drive speakers to their full potential so adding a 3-5 channel amp of at least 200wpc will wake them up very nicely. It's better to have the power available and not need it rather than the other way around. All speakers enjoy the benefits of more power, and you can use the amp with any and all current and future speakers.
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

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    If you have a good subwoofer and crossed your A7s at 100 hrz you don't need external amp. You have a solid AVR and the improvement from an amp very likely wont be audible. The ratings of the speakers are for power/heat handling. People here use the ratings as 'recommended power' which is totally wrong. The power that a speaker draws is disproportionately higher at the lower frequencies. If you send no low frequency to the towers but to the sub instead, there is nothing the speaker can do with 300 watts of power. Actually that reduces the power handling of the speaker. If you cross A7 at 200 hrz that will remove the 7" drivers completely and I guarantee you you will blow the speaker if you feed 300W of power to it. Without the big drivers there is nothing to dissipate the heat.
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I have found that tube based computers provide the best sound quality. ENIAC and MANIAC I offer a smooth, well defined and articulated sound unmatched by the current silicon based CPUs.
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremymarcinko View Post
    But as in all things your perception is your reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravaneli View Post
    I guarantee you you will blow the speaker if you feed 300W of power to it..
    Ya know Rav, I love ya pal, but you would think you'd have picked up on a thing or 2 from being here. Amps don't operate at full power when you hook them up. The speaker will only draw what it needs, given what is asked by the volume dial, up to it's limits.

    That said, I might agree with you in that with a sub and the 7's, an amp may not be needed. But also it won't hurt either. I've never heard of adding an amp making speakers sound worse than without one, unless the amp is faulty of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrizz View Post
    Welcome to Club Polk!

    By all means go for it. The vast majority of receivers aren't able to drive speakers to their full potential so adding a 3-5 channel amp of at least 200wpc will wake them up very nicely. It's better to have the power available and not need it rather than the other way around. All speakers enjoy the benefits of more power, and you can use the amp with any and all current and future speakers.
    Thanks cfrizz

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    no, they don't, and you should tell that to your homies, not to me. If you have a 1000 W amp and your folume is -32db the signal will be exactly as powerful as an avr. The power benefits of amps begin where the power of the avr ends.
    That said, what I said is true. The A7 can handle 300W in full range only. So if u do actually feed it 300W in XO you are asking for it
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I have found that tube based computers provide the best sound quality. ENIAC and MANIAC I offer a smooth, well defined and articulated sound unmatched by the current silicon based CPUs.
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremymarcinko View Post
    But as in all things your perception is your reality.

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    rav, give it up. You don't understand how any of this stuff works.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    About the damping factor, the difference between a factor of 10 and 1000 is so minute that it's a non-factor. Below 10 and it becomes an issue. I had a chart showing this, but can't find it right now. I'll post it if/when I do.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtnpolk View Post
    So, I am expecting my RTi A7`s very soon. In all of my research, I know that folks say the the RTiA`s need "good power". So is "good power" defined by a wattage number or is it simply something you hear? I have a Pioneer Elite VSX-01 thx. Claims 110wpc in stereo and strangely 110wpc in 5.1 as well. Okay that is BS, but would ya`ll consider my AVR as having "good power"? My surrounds and (for now) center channel are Klipsch and quite high sensitivity(93db), so I am thinking that they will leave a little leftover wattage for the towers????
    I guess my question is, should I save my pennies for a decent power amp, or to replace all my Klipsch speakers w/ RTiA line? P.S. got a good Velodyne sub and am 50/50 movie/music. Room is 25` long by 14 wide and 7+` ceilings
    Yes, a good power amp like Parasound will get your A7s where you want them. I went through the same thing as you. While running my 12s off an AVR worked for a while, there was no 'authority' like there should have been. I moved up to the 145w Onkyo which was better but not enough and sure wouldn't be enough after hooking my other speakers to it for surround and center duty. All I did was buy a good 2 channel amp for the 12s. The amp puts out 250wpc and 60 amps. Plenty of juice now!! There was quite a difference after hooking it up and rerunning Audyssey!! Clarity at low volumes was better and of course the bass coming out of them sounds as big as they look. Now all the AVR has to do is run the center and the surrounds which shouldn't really stress it at all IMO. Good luck making your decision!
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    If it's the chart showing that anything over 50 is essentially the same decay time, then I know which one you're talking about. I think Audioholics had that chart in one of their articles. I concede the point, sir. I do think it has some effect with longer cable runs though.

    More to the OP's question though, F1nut, what would you say is the advantage of external amplification over the amp section of an AVR?
    Equipment list:
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    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    It isn't really a matter of "need", but a matter of whether you're giving them enough power to really shine.
    Now that's probably THEE best answer a guy could give!! Nicely said Kunta. The rest of the explanation you threw in on damping was cake.

    OP, as I don't have direct experience with the A7's, I own two pair of A9's, for almost two years with the first. I have noticed that with more power given, better sound is achieved, to my ears anyway. Just adding 100w over 200 made a noticeable difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by ravaneli View Post
    If you cross A7 at 200 hrz that will remove the 7" drivers completely and I guarantee you you will blow the speaker if you feed 300W of power to it. Without the big drivers there is nothing to dissipate the heat.
    ??????? A guarantee that has no guarantee..........as usual
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    More to the OP's question though, F1nut, what would you say is the advantage of external amplification over the amp section of an AVR?
    I'll answer for Jesse if he doesn't mind. Whats the difference ?

    Current....reserve power. Think of an avr's power section like a garden hose with your thumb over the end. An amplifier of quality removes that thumb and lets everything flow. Speakers thrive on current, Avr's....most anyway, lack current. This is why anyone who adds an amplifier to their AVR notices an improvement in sound. Bigger, tighter dynamics, extended top end, snappier mids. Think those simple characteristics are something most folks would like ?

    Now, reserve power. In spite of what Ravioli believes, an amplifier in fact stores power for those quick transients, big bomb blasts. So does the amp section in an avr but the difference will be in build and size of the caps that store the power. One only needs to pop the top on each and compare the size of the caps to see the difference. Thats the simple explanation, much more about the differences in amps themselves rely on build quality and design, which can vary greatly. Plus an avr is using one power supply for all channels which is why power for each channel drops considerably the more channels used. Ever see an AVR advertised at 100 watts per channel and it's a 7 channel receiver ? Look at the specs, most put in a power supply rated at 450-550 watts. How does that math work out ?Thats now getting into somewhat dishonest marketing so we'll leave that for another thread. The simple fact is, most entry level to mid level avrs have weak power sections. Adequate for easy to drive speakers in the 8 ohm and high efficiency catagories but anything more and they struggle. Subwoofers help in this too by making use of their own built in amplifier to handle the lows, taking alot of power consumption off the avrs back. This is why we always say get preouts, get preouts, get preouts when shopping for a receiver. You know you'll eventually lust after bigger, harder to drive speakers and you'll need an external amp to do them justice.

    Next question ?
    Last edited by tonyb; 03-22-2013 at 12:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravaneli View Post
    . The power benefits of amps begin where the power of the avr ends.
    Nothing could be further from the truth big guy. Seriously, your doing yourself an injustice by spouting this stuff. Please read up and try and get a grasp on how this stuff works. It's one thing if you simply don't know, it's another to not know and have no concern for finding answers.

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    Tony covered it, thanks.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Yeah, that ought to cover the OP's question, Tony. Thanks!

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    Most folks with A7s here buy the expensive amps, then get a great sub, cross the towers and 100 hrz and use them as bookshelves. Waste of both the towers and the amp. It's the only forum that I know where voodoo stuff passes for science. Even the forum of stereophille gets in passionate fights.
    I can't think of a single case, not one, where you people didn't give bad advice to the OP question. Money has no other use for you. Nobody is aware of opportunity cost. It is fine to buy a 300W x 2 emotiva and hook two A7s to it and then never have the amp feed more than 30W per channel because of the specific configuration. Exotic cables are always money well spent. Digital sources that improve the sound quality by such a thin margin that it is difficult even for measurement instruments to detect. Why bother with these threads at all. Just make a sticky that the answer to all questions is expensive cables and huge amp.
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I have found that tube based computers provide the best sound quality. ENIAC and MANIAC I offer a smooth, well defined and articulated sound unmatched by the current silicon based CPUs.
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremymarcinko View Post
    But as in all things your perception is your reality.

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    Did I miss something here? Who said anything about crossing them at 100Hz? Just wondering why you keep using that example, ravaneli. If you're feeding them good power, I would imagine you would cross them over near 40Hz at worst, just above their natural rolloff point... or just run them full range.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    Did I miss something here?
    Nope!! 40hz is where mine are crossed over thanks to my amp. But as you can plainly see, something IS definitely missed here
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravaneli View Post
    Most folks with A7s here buy the expensive amps, then get a great sub, cross the towers and 100 hrz and use them as bookshelves. Waste of both the towers and the amp. It's the only forum that I know where voodoo stuff passes for science. Even the forum of stereophille gets in passionate fights.
    I can't think of a single case, not one, where you people didn't give bad advice to the OP question. Money has no other use for you. Nobody is aware of opportunity cost. It is fine to buy a 300W x 2 emotiva and hook two A7s to it and then never have the amp feed more than 30W per channel because of the specific configuration. Exotic cables are always money well spent. Digital sources that improve the sound quality by such a thin margin that it is difficult even for measurement instruments to detect. Why bother with these threads at all. Just make a sticky that the answer to all questions is expensive cables and huge amp.
    What? Sorry, I have to agree with F1 on this "You don't understand how any of this stuff works."

    I've never seen any recommendation to the type you’re referring. OP, Cfrizz and Snake have made good recommendations. I followed this approach (from reading previous posts) when I had the A7's and was very satisfied with the results when compared to running them with just the AVR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    I'll answer for Jesse if he doesn't mind. Whats the difference ?

    Current....reserve power. Think of an avr's power section like a garden hose with your thumb over the end. An amplifier of quality removes that thumb and lets everything flow. Speakers thrive on current, Avr's....most anyway, lack current. This is why anyone who adds an amplifier to their AVR notices an improvement in sound. Bigger, tighter dynamics, extended top end, snappier mids. Think those simple characteristics are something most folks would like ?

    Now, reserve power. In spite of what Ravioli believes, an amplifier in fact stores power for those quick transients, big bomb blasts. So does the amp section in an avr but the difference will be in build and size of the caps that store the power. One only needs to pop the top on each and compare the size of the caps to see the difference. Thats the simple explanation, much more about the differences in amps themselves rely on build quality and design, which can vary greatly. Plus an avr is using one power supply for all channels which is why power for each channel drops considerably the more channels used. Ever see an AVR advertised at 100 watts per channel and it's a 7 channel receiver ? Look at the specs, most put in a power supply rated at 450-550 watts. How does that math work out ?Thats now getting into somewhat dishonest marketing so we'll leave that for another thread. The simple fact is, most entry level to mid level avrs have weak power sections. Adequate for easy to drive speakers in the 8 ohm and high efficiency catagories but anything more and they struggle. Subwoofers help in this too by making use of their own built in amplifier to handle the lows, taking alot of power consumption off the avrs back. This is why we always say get preouts, get preouts, get preouts when shopping for a receiver. You know you'll eventually lust after bigger, harder to drive speakers and you'll need an external amp to do them justice.

    Next question ?
    Okay, I hear what your are saying, so here`s my next question...least expensive amp worth buying??? I will search around for that info as it does not apply to this thread directly.

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    That would depend on your budget. Most will say you can score big-time by finding a used amp on the cheap, which is an option. In my case, I went through three used amps (1 Adcom, 2 Parasounds), tried to have them repaired, and $1,400 later, they are now taking up space in my closet... and I ended up buying an Emotiva and am now happy to have something that works well with my older RTi70s.

    If it were my money, I would get an Emotiva XPA-3 for the front three speakers then take the money I saved over a more expensive amp and get a matching Polk center channel so your front soundstage is timbre-matched. Just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravaneli
    I can't think of a single case, not one, where I didn't give bad advice to the OP question.
    At last, you admit it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    At last, you admit it.
    Took me a couple of times reading it but that qoute does sort of say "I gave bad advice" doesn't it? LOL.
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    At last, you admit it.
    ROTFLOL! I knew there was a reason why I have Rav on ignore!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtnpolk View Post
    So, I am expecting my RTi A7`s very soon. In all of my research, I know that folks say the the RTiA`s need "good power". So is "good power" defined by a wattage number or is it simply something you hear? I have a Pioneer Elite VSX-01 thx. Claims 110wpc in stereo and strangely 110wpc in 5.1 as well. Okay that is BS, but would ya`ll consider my AVR as having "good power"? My surrounds and (for now) center channel are Klipsch and quite high sensitivity(93db), so I am thinking that they will leave a little leftover wattage for the towers????
    I guess my question is, should I save my pennies for a decent power amp, or to replace all my Klipsch speakers w/ RTiA line? P.S. got a good Velodyne sub and am 50/50 movie/music. Room is 25` long by 14 wide and 7+` ceilings
    Mtnpolk - let us know what you decide to do and if you get the amp please report back. I am in the same boat and am completely on the fence on what to do. I was thinking the emotiva xpa-3, xpa-5, or the xpr-5. Just not sure...

    Just to clear the air if I went with an external amp they would be crossed over at the lowest frequency above their -3db lower crossover limit (a7's @ 40hz, a6 @ 60hz, 60i's at 60 hz). They currently are all set at 80hz.

    Chip
    Last edited by chiptouz; 03-22-2013 at 10:51 PM.
    Sony KDL-55NX810 TV
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    Polk RTi-a7 (fronts)
    Polk CSi-a6 (Center)
    Polk TC-60i (Rear & Surround Rear)
    HSU Research VTF3-MK4 (Sub)
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    Just to clear the air if I went with an external amp they would be crossed over at the lowest frequency above their -3db lower crossover limit (a7's @ 40hz, a6 @ 60hz, 60i's at 60 hz). They currently are all set at 80hz.
    Not sure if you're aware.....the crossover setting to the sub isn't a hard cut off, rather a gentle slope. That is, set to 80Hz, the speakers are still producing sound below that point. 80Hz seems to be a good setting as it takes some of the load off of whatever is driving the speakers, letting the sub's plate amp handle the heavy work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiptouz View Post
    Mtnpolk - let us know what you decide to do and if you get the amp please report back. I am in the same boat and am completely on the fence on what to do. I was thinking the emotiva xpa-3, xpa-5, or the xpr-5. Just not sure...

    Chip
    Chip, if you can swing the XPR-5, jump on it, of course it's recommended that the amp has it's own dedicated 20amp circuit. Otherwise, the XPA-5 would be a great thing for your set up.

    I'm running the XPA-3 and 2. A 5ch amp would work great in my set up, some day......
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    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


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