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  1. #1

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    Question Need advice: RTi-A1 vs. TSi200 for front speakers; maybe Monitor 40 or 45B?

    I want to replace my old floor Yamaha speakers. After lots of research, the RTi-A1 and TSi200 are top candidates. But, a bit easier on the pocketbook are the Monitor 40 or the Monitor 45B. I've found all of these within budget.

    These would be front speakers for both music (CDs) and HDTV. In a 20x20 room with hard tile floors. I don't plan on adding rear speakers.

    How can the A1's be better than the Tsi200's when they only have one mid/woofer?

    I can't find any comparison between the Monitor 40 and Monitor 45B, they appear to have identical specs. Somewhere I read that the TSi200 is the new model of the Monitor 40. So is the TSi200 improved over the Monitor 40? Then where does the 45B fit in???

    Current equipment:
    Sony STR-DH540 5.2 receiver, 725 watts
    Polk Audio CSi3 center speaker
    Bic America Venturi V1020 powered subwoofer
    LG 47" LED TV
    Magnavox DVD/VCR recorder
    Sony CD player

    Help! Thanks1

  2. #2

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    Since you already have the CSi 3 I believe the RTi A1 would be a better timbre match.

    Louisa, VA....been there, you are in the middle of nowhere.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Agree the RTI A1 is the better match, however in that size of room they still may be too small. RTI A5 or higher would be more appropriate.

  4. #4

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    F1nut, do you live in Virginia? Nobody knows Louisa! But, being half-way between Richmond and Charlottesville, half-way between the ocean and the mountains, it's really not a bad place. And, after many years in big cities like Dallas, I like the country life.

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Since you already have the CSi 3 I believe the RTi A1 would be a better timbre match.

    Louisa, VA....been there, you are in the middle of nowhere.

  5. #5

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    No, I don't. I use to travel the area on antique buying trips. It's been years, but I'm pretty sure that's where we bought out all the old car speakers from a closed down drive-in theater. I do remember there were RR tracks that parallel the main road and eating lunch in some home cooking type restaurant on the side on the road across from the tracks. It's definitely country life. Have you been to Lake Anna?

    BTW, Tony is right that the A5's would be a better choice given your room size.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  6. #6

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    OK, to both of you that responded, thanks. But I'm probably more confused now. If you (or anyone else) could answer specific questions, I'd appreciate it, trying to make a quick decision now. I can't afford the RTi-A5. I'm really trying to stay around $250 max.

    1. What makes the RTi series a better match for my CSi3 center speaker? The TSi200 has 150 watts, two 5.25" mids/woofers, 89 dB; specs look as good or better than the RIi-A1 with only 125 watts, one 5.25" mid. Is it the Dynamic Balance drivers? Mylar bypass capacitors? Overall design?
    2. Is neither the TSi200 nor the RTi-A1 powerful enough to match the center speaker?
    3. Should I consider the TSx220B? It has a 6.5" mid/woofer, 125 watts, 90 db, 42-25kHz. (Don't like only black, prefer cherry)
    4. Should I consider the RT55i? It is bigger, has two 6.5" mids, 200 watts, 91 dB. (Again, only in black.)
    5. Should I forget the old Monitor 40?
    6. Should I forget the Monitor 45B? Someone said it has same drivers as the TSi200. Specs look identical to the Monitor 40.

    I have found the RTiA3 for $309, free ship on Ebay. (Maybe my best bet???)
    I have found the RTiA1 for $240 new on Audiophile Liquidators, free ship I think.
    I found the TSi200 for $225, open box, free ship at Crutchfield; or mfg. refurb on Ebay for $199, free ship.
    Then, I can get the Monitor 40 or 45B for under $200, around $150 probably, some used, as new. But, that said, I don't want to be disappointed in the sound ... that's the whole purpose of replacing my old big Yahamas.

    Advice please???

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    I ran the RTiA3 with the Csi3 in my family room - about 14 x 18 with one side open to the kitchen off of the family room.

    What a really nice setup that was with a good amp behind the RTiA3s! I started with the RTi4s which are the younger brothers to the RTiA1s - and they were a great start - value gems in Polk's line up, imo.

    But I decided to 'upgrade' to the RTiA3s...marginal, but worth it.

    If lowest cost is your objective, then the RTiA1's with the CSi3 will be a most admirable set up - but will need a sub to really flesh out the sonic experience. And, a good amp will do wonders.

    If you can squeeze your wallet for just a bit more, I think the RTiA3's with the CSi3 will give you a bit more satisfaction.

    And - with a good hefty amp behind the RTiA3s and a good sub, you can get ear to ear grinning sonic goodness in your 20 x 20 room.

    Enjoy the journey

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  8. #8

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    Well, my receiver is brand new, had to replace my Sony that got fried by a lightning strike (along with cell antennas and amp, both flat screen TVs, DVD players, pool equipment, etc!). It's not a powerhouse but offers 145 watts per channel, a Sony 5.2, and I'm only hooking up 2 fronts, a center and a sub.

    Is that enough amplifier to benefit from the RTiA3 vs. the RTiA1??? $70 difference?
    My subwoofer is a Bic America Venturi V1020 powered subwoofer, 150 watts, adjustable crossover, so should be able to pick up the slack.

    I guess that my research has carried me from thinking I'd be happy with the old highly-regarded Monitor 40 or the Monitor 45B at a really reasonable cost, then moved up to the TSi200, then up to the RTiA1. Now, I'm going above that. But, the $70 for the next step to the RTiA3 is somewhat insignificant over the course of quite a few happy years, yes? But, it's more than double the cost of the Monitor 45B that I thought looked good.

    BTW, if anyone can tell me what's mediocre about the Monitor 45B, I'm really curious. It looks like a really nice attractive, respectable speaker, with specs almost identical to the RTi-A1 except it has TWO 5.25" mid/woofers instead of only one. Same 125 watts, same 89 dB, has Dynamic Balance drivers (same?), 47-25kHz vs. 50-27kHz. Wouldn't 2 mids be better than one? Is there some design flaw that just doesn't produce as good a sound? Maybe because it's older model, it's available (new) for $100 less than the RTi-A1 ... and half the price of the RTi-A3.


    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Tracy View Post
    I ran the RTiA3 with the Csi3 in my family room - about 14 x 18 with one side open to the kitchen off of the family room.

    What a really nice setup that was with a good amp behind the RTiA3s! I started with the RTi4s which are the younger brothers to the RTiA1s - and they were a great start - value gems in Polk's line up, imo.

    But I decided to 'upgrade' to the RTiA3s...marginal, but worth it.

    If lowest cost is your objective, then the RTiA1's with the CSi3 will be a most admirable set up - but will need a sub to really flesh out the sonic experience. And, a good amp will do wonders.

    If you can squeeze your wallet for just a bit more, I think the RTiA3's with the CSi3 will give you a bit more satisfaction.

    And - with a good hefty amp behind the RTiA3s and a good sub, you can get ear to ear grinning sonic goodness in your 20 x 20 room.

    Enjoy the journey

  9. #9

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    To clarify my Sony receiver, it's total 750 watts. As a 5.2 system, it's rated at 145 watts per channel. If I'm only hooking up 2 fronts, a center and a powered sub, how much wattage goes to each of those?

    Quote Originally Posted by JennyM View Post
    Well, my receiver is brand new, had to replace my Sony that got fried by a lightning strike (along with cell antennas and amp, both flat screen TVs, DVD players, pool equipment, etc!). It's not a powerhouse but offers 145 watts per channel, a Sony 5.2, and I'm only hooking up 2 fronts, a center and a sub.

    Is that enough amplifier to benefit from the RTiA3 vs. the RTiA1??? $70 difference?
    My subwoofer is a Bic America Venturi V1020 powered subwoofer, 150 watts, adjustable crossover, so should be able to pick up the slack.

    I guess that my research has carried me from thinking I'd be happy with the old highly-regarded Monitor 40 or the Monitor 45B at a really reasonable cost, then moved up to the TSi200, then up to the RTiA1. Now, I'm going above that. But, the $70 for the next step to the RTiA3 is somewhat insignificant over the course of quite a few happy years, yes? But, it's more than double the cost of the Monitor 45B that I thought looked good.

    BTW, if anyone can tell me what's mediocre about the Monitor 45B, I'm really curious. It looks like a really nice attractive, respectable speaker, with specs almost identical to the RTi-A1 except it has TWO 5.25" mid/woofers instead of only one. Same 125 watts, same 89 dB, has Dynamic Balance drivers (same?), 47-25kHz vs. 50-27kHz. Wouldn't 2 mids be better than one? Is there some design flaw that just doesn't produce as good a sound? Maybe because it's older model, it's available (new) for $100 less than the RTi-A1 ... and half the price of the RTi-A3.

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    RTI A3's available on Polk E-Bay site for $284.99, top of page under where to buy. Check with Polk CS, may have a pair in cherry, won't hurt to ask.

    Power ratings is just a rough guide, shouldn't pay that much attention to that. Size and amount of speakers in the box doesn't mean very much when the topic is timbre matching. The RTI A line will blend better with the center you already have than will the TSI line.

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    I would suggest the A5's also as I own a pair, also own a pair of A3's so if you could save a bit go with the A3's to match your center then look for some stands for them.

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    Thanks, I could identify with your message.

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    Thanks, I could identify with this message.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Tracy View Post
    I ran the RTiA3 with the Csi3 in my family room - about 14 x 18 with one side open to the kitchen off of the family room.

    What a really nice setup that was with a good amp behind the RTiA3s! I started with the RTi4s which are the younger brothers to the RTiA1s - and they were a great start - value gems in Polk's line up, imo.

    But I decided to 'upgrade' to the RTiA3s...marginal, but worth it.

    If lowest cost is your objective, then the RTiA1's with the CSi3 will be a most admirable set up - but will need a sub to really flesh out the sonic experience. And, a good amp will do wonders.

    If you can squeeze your wallet for just a bit more, I think the RTiA3's with the CSi3 will give you a bit more satisfaction.

    And - with a good hefty amp behind the RTiA3s and a good sub, you can get ear to ear grinning sonic goodness in your 20 x 20 room.

    Enjoy the journey

  14. #14

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    Thanks for the tip. I e-mailed Polk since they weren't open for phones, asking if they have any in cherry. That's a good price on the black but I really want the cherry ... have a terra cotta tile floor that they'd look great in.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpf65 View Post
    RTI A3's available on Polk E-Bay site for $284.99, top of page under where to buy. Check with Polk CS, may have a pair in cherry, won't hurt to ask.

    Power ratings is just a rough guide, shouldn't pay that much attention to that. Size and amount of speakers in the box doesn't mean very much when the topic is timbre matching. The RTI A line will blend better with the center you already have than will the TSI line.

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    1. What makes the RTi series a better match for my CSi3 center speaker?
    Timbre matching. That is, the speakers are voiced exactly the same.

    To clarify my Sony receiver, it's total 750 watts. As a 5.2 system, it's rated at 145 watts per channel. If I'm only hooking up 2 fronts, a center and a powered sub, how much wattage goes to each of those?
    I hate to tell you this, but you asked. Sony is playing with the specs to make their AVR seem more powerful than it is. The 145 wpc rating is with a 6 ohm load, not an 8 ohm load like almost every other AVR company rates their products. You can't get 145 wpc x 5 from a sub $300.00 AVR weighing in at only 16 lbs. Just isn't going to happen.

    A quick peek around shows that someone came up with a reasonable calculation that your AVR is actually capable of putting out about 70 watts into an 8 ohm load with only 2 channels driven. Add more speakers and that wpc rating is going to drop even lower.
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    If you don't already have some - put some rugs down to counteract all the noise your floor is going to reflect. It will make quite the difference.
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    Well, I appreciate your honesty about my new Sony receiver but I am a bit bummed. I don't like it as well as the old Sony that got hit by lightning, and one of the specs I read on it indicated 8 ohms ... as all my other equipment is rated. I just found in the user manual specs that say 6 ohms. Surprise.

    So, what you're saying is my receiver is going to be way under-powered for the speakers I have? I maybe could still return it to Amazon, need to check how long I've had it.

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Timbre matching. That is, the speakers are voiced exactly the same.



    I hate to tell you this, but you asked. Sony is playing with the specs to make their AVR seem more powerful than it is. The 145 wpc rating is with a 6 ohm load, not an 8 ohm load like almost every other AVR company rates their products. You can't get 145 wpc x 5 from a sub $300.00 AVR weighing in at only 16 lbs. Just isn't going to happen.

    A quick peek around shows that someone came up with a reasonable calculation that your AVR is actually capable of putting out about 70 watts into an 8 ohm load with only 2 channels driven. Add more speakers and that wpc rating is going to drop even lower.

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    So, what you're saying is my receiver is going to be way under-powered for the speakers I have?
    That would depend on the volume levels you require and the demands of the speakers connected to it.

    The back bone, so to speak, of an AVR, power amp or any piece of audio gear really is the power supply and a big beefy power supply cost money.
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    I own a pair of A3s, nice bookies for the size/money, however I'm driving them with a 2 channel 75 watt per channel receiver, they sound spectacular (probably going to get better the moment I change the speaker cabling mind you). As F1 stated, Sony is playing the numbers game with it's power ratings and I'll be honest here, I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that wattage isn't backed up with current.

    Current as in a high current amp will provide a ton of power to any speaker. My two receivers are both Harman Kardon no real frills straight laced 2 channel rigs so from a little first hand experience I know what I'm talking about here. Sure the A3s will perform ok with your Sony but your not going to realize the full potential of them until the dreaded day of receiver upgrade. A lot of folks here recommend a Pioneer SC series receiver for price/performance reasons and I agree when it comes to HT duties. Decent watts with strong current backing them up. Me, I'm just an old school 2 channel guy.

    However with the above said, you can effectively juice the A3s with what you have but you WILL need a sub to round out the sound imho. The A3 will give you a better midrange over the A1 (6.5 inch woofer compared to a 5.25 inch woofer) and sound smoother overall (auditioning tests when I was looking at bookshelf speakers). Just plan for say a Pioneer bump the Sony out in the near future...and welcome to the rabbit hole :)
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  20. #20

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    OK, I don't understand the difference between "current" and "watts" ... it sounds like you're referring to two different criteria. But, if you're running the RTiA3's on a max of 75 watts per channel and think they sound great, why wouldn't my Sony receiver be adequate? Even if it can't do the 145 watts per channel quoted, it's supposed to be 750 watts total (6 ohms). And, I'm only running 2 fronts, a center and a powered sub.

    I started looking at receivers ... can't possibly afford the Pioneer SC series, running around $1000 or more. I found your HK3490 on Amazon for $317, but it wouldn't run a center or a sub, right???

    Any other recommendations from anyone for a good, powerful 5-channel receiver that I could maybe afford? Maybe something I could find used or refurbished? Or a Black Friday deal? I never plan on running more than 5.1, probably only 3.1 actually.

    Otherwise, I'm just going to get the RTi A3 speakers, then see what I think. To be honest, I tweaked the balance of my current speakers, and I would blow the room out if I turned the volume beyond 50%. I can't see that I need so much more power. And, I found a post from a guy that has this same receiver, loves it running some 200 watt tower speakers, center & sub.

    Maybe I just don't quite understand enough. But, I do thank all of you who've given opinions!


    Quote Originally Posted by nbrowser View Post
    I own a pair of A3s, nice bookies for the size/money, however I'm driving them with a 2 channel 75 watt per channel receiver, they sound spectacular (probably going to get better the moment I change the speaker cabling mind you). As F1 stated, Sony is playing the numbers game with it's power ratings and I'll be honest here, I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that wattage isn't backed up with current.

    Current as in a high current amp will provide a ton of power to any speaker. My two receivers are both Harman Kardon no real frills straight laced 2 channel rigs so from a little first hand experience I know what I'm talking about here. Sure the A3s will perform ok with your Sony but your not going to realize the full potential of them until the dreaded day of receiver upgrade. A lot of folks here recommend a Pioneer SC series receiver for price/performance reasons and I agree when it comes to HT duties. Decent watts with strong current backing them up. Me, I'm just an old school 2 channel guy.

    However with the above said, you can effectively juice the A3s with what you have but you WILL need a sub to round out the sound imho. The A3 will give you a better midrange over the A1 (6.5 inch woofer compared to a 5.25 inch woofer) and sound smoother overall (auditioning tests when I was looking at bookshelf speakers). Just plan for say a Pioneer bump the Sony out in the near future...and welcome to the rabbit hole :)

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    Sounds like you're starting to spin in circles.

    The RTI A3 is a good choice to go with the CSI 3 center, and if that is what you have decided; good.

    As far as your AVR, the total watts number advertised is meaningless. Not only for your Sony, but with pretty much every manufacturer. Some of those guys will run one channel, multiply it by whatever channels out they have, and say that is the total. In theory, yes. The real world is different.

    I think you Sony will be fine driving those 3 speakers, at normal listening levels, within 10 or 12 feet of the front stage. Just keep in mind when you start getting close to halfway, or 0 dB, you probably pushing your AVR a little hard. Cheaper to read this than actually experience it first hand.

    If you questioning your decision about your AVR, look at the Accessories4less web site. They have reasonable pricing on factory refurbs. If you have questions about AVR's, it's probably better to start another thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JennyM View Post
    OK, I don't understand the difference between "current" and "watts" ... it sounds like you're referring to two different criteria. But, if you're running the RTiA3's on a max of 75 watts per channel and think they sound great, why wouldn't my Sony receiver be adequate? Even if it can't do the 145 watts per channel quoted, it's supposed to be 750 watts total (6 ohms). And, I'm only running 2 fronts, a center and a powered sub.

    I started looking at receivers ... can't possibly afford the Pioneer SC series, running around $1000 or more. I found your HK3490 on Amazon for $317, but it wouldn't run a center or a sub, right???

    Any other recommendations from anyone for a good, powerful 5-channel receiver that I could maybe afford? Maybe something I could find used or refurbished? Or a Black Friday deal? I never plan on running more than 5.1, probably only 3.1 actually.

    Otherwise, I'm just going to get the RTi A3 speakers, then see what I think. To be honest, I tweaked the balance of my current speakers, and I would blow the room out if I turned the volume beyond 50%. I can't see that I need so much more power. And, I found a post from a guy that has this same receiver, loves it running some 200 watt tower speakers, center & sub.

    Maybe I just don't quite understand enough. But, I do thank all of you who've given opinions!
    Harman Kardon makes things called amplifiers into their receivers, sure while not on the level with say Parasound, Emo etc. my HK 3375 is a stereo receiver, rated at 75x2 8ohms...42 amps of high current goodness, meaning it can control a speaker tightly, sucking it back as quick as it can push it out. Allowing for more bass, and a fully sound with more headroom. The HK 3490...120 x2 8ohm 45 amps, makes a mess out of a pair of RTiA7s quite well. And you'd be correct, neither can drive a center, they are simply 2 channel receivers as I'm no longer into the HT set ups.

    I didn't say your Sony would suck driving the A3 however, there are better out there and once you start to get the upgrade bug...I'm willing to bet the first piece would be that AVR. rpf65 said it right, total watts numbers are meaningless. lower end AVRs have trumped up power ratings based on say a single test tone and a specific frequency at a steady impedance, in your Sony's case, that's at 6 Ohms, most quality speakers are 8 Ohm nominal and produce dynamic sound, a tweeter is obviously easier to drive than a woofer, ask any car audio guy with a weak amp on their sub...speakers, don't stay at their nominal impedance while operating, they vary widely from lows of less than an ohm to high, which I don't have a number for but it's up there.

    Now I'll temper this with the following, I'm no expert in this hobby, however with what I've learned along the way so far, I know enough to be ahem, dangerous.
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    I think someone was hitting the bottle a little too hard tonight.
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    I ended up getting the RTi A3 speakers. Nice, but not broken in yet. Now I'm upgrading my receiver to the Pioneer SC-1222-K.

    That's it, done spending money for a while!!!

    Thanks to all who've offered help.
    Sony STR-DH540 receiver
    Polk Audio RTi A3 front speakers
    Polk Audio CSi3 center speaker
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    Abbotsford BC
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    hrm a 1222K...I'd of gone A5 with that beast....but that's just me :)
    Living Room Evolved
    Onkyo TX-NR717
    Parasound HCA-1200II
    Polk Audio RTi A7 Black Front
    Polk Audio RTi A3 Black Rear
    Polk Audio CSiA6 Center
    Transparent Audio Music Wave Biwire cables > Mains
    Canare 4S11 >Center
    Audioquest Evergreens on most of the analog connections
    Tannoy TS2.12 Sub
    Marantz CD6004
    Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Piano Black TT
    Parasound Zphono Phono Preamp
    Apple Mac Mini
    Apple TV 3rd Gen
    Sony PS3 160Gb/Microsoft XBox 360
    Insignia 55 inch 120Hz TV

  26. #26

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    May 2009
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    Oklahoma City
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    I wouldn't call the 1222K a "Beast", but it certainly is a dramatic upgrade in quality/current/power for sure.
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD

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