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Thread: LSi15

  1. #1

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    Default LSi15

    Hello All,

    This is my first post to this forum. Hope I get some valuable feedback!

    My question(s) go out to those of you who have the LSi15 in your current set-up (stereo or HT), or those of you who have had extensive experience with it in the past. What is your opinion of that speaker generally? Your likes (and dislikes)? Strengths & weaknesses? What other speakers in its price range does it compare favorably to? Assuming you own it now, would you buy it again?

    I've read all the professional reviews I could find, but most of those were done early in it's production cycle many years ago.

    Thanks for your input.

    Dave

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    I'll keep it short, barring freak circumstances, the LSi15 will be the last main speaker in my theater. I like them enough to where I have no desire whatsoever to buy anything else. I've had them for at least 2 years if not more
    Theater - Polk LSi15, LSiC, LSi9 speaks, DIY Sub (142.5L box, SVS plus driver, 500 Watt plate amp)...Outlaw 990 pre/pro, Carver TFM45, 2 X Outlaw M200 . Rotel RB980 . PS3, Monster 3600 power center

    2 Channel -
    Anthem Pre 2l, Jolida JD100 CD player, CAL Sigma DAC, Carver m4.0, Polk LSi9 w external modified Crossovers (thanks Trey!)

  3. #3

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    I can give you my 2 cents. I have 4 LSi15s in my HT and love them. They sound great for both HT and music. For a number of years I ran them off an AVR without any issues, and enjoyed many an hour of movies and music. Later, I purchased an amp and the amp improved the sound of the 15s, as would be expected. The bass was tighter and cleaner, and the overall sound was a bit more precise.

    For the living room I purchased a pair of PSB Synchrony 1 towers. One of these speakers cost more than a pair of LSi15s. The PSBs certainly sound better than the LSi15s, but the LSi15s come pretty darn close.

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    I LOVE my LSi15's. They are power hungry and hard to drive. I had a Sony receiver before my current setup. Wow the difference with seperate amplification is night and day. These are GREAT for Home theater and Music. Being four ohm they are hard for allot of receivers to power, so I would recommend a seperate amp. I think they have been compared to B & W 600 or 700 series speakers. Not sure someone here will know I'm sure. I am pushing 400 watts to my speakers, was afraid would hurt them at first. But I was reassured here that more power is better and I would be fine. So far so good they seem to handle all I throw at them. GREAT SPEAKER 5 out of 5
    TV- 52 inch LCD SONY BRAVIA XBR6
    TV- 42 inch PLASMA HITACHI ULTRA VISION
    AMP- PARASOUND HALO A-51
    CONTROLLER- PARASOUND HALO C-2
    FRONT SPEAKERS- LSi15's and LSiC
    REAR SPEAKERS- LSi7's
    SUBWOOFER- VELODYNE DD15
    BLU RAY- LG SUPER BLU BH200
    BLU RAY- SONY BDPS350
    GAME SYSTEM- NINTENDO Wii
    MONSTER POWER CONDITIONER
    WIRES- AUDIO QUEST and MONSTER

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    Another vote for LSi15, had it since October 2002 (wow, that's 7 years). Very detailed and clean speaker.

    From my experience with LSi15, I'd say: IF it doesn't sound right/great/detailed, then it must be due to the following fault(s): Speaker cable, Interconnects, Amp/preamp/receiver, source, and/or media quality. phoeey, I think I covered all :)
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkatese View Post

    From my experience with LSi15, I'd say: IF it doesn't sound right/great/detailed, then it must be due to the following fault(s): Speaker cable, Interconnects, Amp/preamp/receiver, source, and/or media quality. phoeey, I think I covered all :)


    so true, the biggest weakness of the speaker is the effort to get the best out of it. very sensitive to how much power you have, interconnects, just as you say.

    lots of people wrote off the 15's without doing a little dilligence to get the best out of them. not me :D
    Theater - Polk LSi15, LSiC, LSi9 speaks, DIY Sub (142.5L box, SVS plus driver, 500 Watt plate amp)...Outlaw 990 pre/pro, Carver TFM45, 2 X Outlaw M200 . Rotel RB980 . PS3, Monster 3600 power center

    2 Channel -
    Anthem Pre 2l, Jolida JD100 CD player, CAL Sigma DAC, Carver m4.0, Polk LSi9 w external modified Crossovers (thanks Trey!)

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    I agree, the 15 is a great speaker. You just have to make sure you give it some good quality amp to really experience it. The only gripe I've ever had (and I've heard it echoed elsewhere too) is that on some recordings, the bass can seem disjointed. This is mostly on hip hip where the bass is overproduced anyway. It just makes me listen to less hip hop, which I guess is a good thing. But overall, the speaker does absolutely nothing wrong for the price. HIghly recommended.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ddkane View Post
    I've read all the professional reviews I could find, but most of those were done early in it's production cycle many years ago.
    Dave
    Not until I start thinking about how long since I had my 15, I really think that Polk should have a new lineup of LSis series (wishful thinking say next year.) It's been over 8 years since it was released (I think 2001, if I am not mistaken). Cabinet and crossover are the two that can be improved. Drivers and tweet are good to go, with perhaps the side-firing driver as one that can be bettered too.

    how about it, guys?
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkatese View Post
    Not until I start thinking about how long since I had my 15, I really think that Polk should have a new lineup of LSis series (wishful thinking say next year.) It's been over 8 years since it was released (I think 2001, if I am not mistaken). Cabinet and crossover are the two that can be improved. Drivers and tweet are good to go, with perhaps the side-firing driver as one that can be bettered too.

    how about it, guys?
    A year or so ago, Polk selected some members from this board to provide input for the next gen LSi series. Other than that, have not heard squat.

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    I loved my 15's before I did the mods and now love them even more. Awesome speakers. And they are my first towers to boot.
    58" Samsung Plasma (on wall)(calibrated)
    LSi15's front (modded xo's)
    LSic center
    LSiFX's sides
    LSi7's rears
    Sunfire Sig. 600 amp for 15's
    Sunfire Sig. Cinema for C,S&R
    Sony ES 3000 pre/pro
    SVS 2039 PC Plus sub 12.3 (16hz tune)
    PS3
    Wii
    Signal and Audioquest ic's
    12 awg monster speaker-cable (bi-wired)
    Belkin PF60 power conditioner
    Monster power conditioner for sub

  11. #11

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    I don't own the 15s but have auditioned them. Unfortunately the few times I've heard them they fell flat mostly due to the fact that the receiver powering them was not powerful enough (Pioneer Elite).

    I compared them to Focals Utopia series and because the Focals were more efficient and an 8ohm speaker they faired better. They seemed to image better throwing up an almost Holographic wall of sound!

    Now, I suspect that audition was not a favorable comparison because almost all of you owners are pumping a lot more power than a 1500 or so dollar Pioneer elite through them. The CD player has a mid-level Cambridge Audio--fairly pricey!

    I guess what I'm saying is that you really, I really need to hear the LSI-15s properly powered?

    cnh

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    I am seriously considering upgrading my Lsi9's to 15's as I am looking to fill-in the bottom end in a music only application. Many of the reviews I have read state that the low bass on the 15 is weak and requires a sub to fill it out. This makes little sense to me as my 9's are pretty impressive on their own in the low frequencies. How could a tower speaker with 8'' woofers be lacking bass? Are these opinions coming from people that aren't powering the 15's properly? Anyone else use 15's without a sub for music, if so how are they?
    Mains - Chario Constellation Delphinus
    Subs - Rel T5 x 2
    Amplification - Denon POA S-10 Mono Blocks
    Pre Amp - BAT VK-3i
    CD - Raysonic CD128
    SACD/DVDA- Denon DVD 5910 w/ Underwood Level One Mod
    TT - Pro-Ject RPM 9.1 w/ Ortofon 2M Black Cartidge, TT Weights Super Ring
    Phono Stage - Jolida JD9 w/ Mods

  13. #13

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    For 90% of music, the 15's go as deep as you need, so long as you're powering them well. You should really have 200 watts (@4ohms) going to them and everything but the deepest organs are there. The Musical Fidelity should power them just fine. I'd be willing to bet that the people that made those claims weren't giving them enough power, like you said. If you like to listen to a lot of organs and pretty deep orchestral stuff, then I could see those claims being true. For my purposes (jazz, rock, classical), everything comes in with all the aplomb I need.

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    for music, you will be fine with LSi15. I don't have a sub....it's more of placement issue and room layout....

    I used HK445 and upgraded to XPA-5 and there's some improvement in low end....but the combo is very laid back and had to raise treble to my like....

    I am an EE and work as an engineer for over 10 years and I also do live mixing with 32 channel Mackie onyx on the side..
    Video: LG 55LN5100/Samsung LNT4065F
    Receiver: HK AVR445
    Source: OPPO BDP-93
    HT: POLK SPEAKERS RTi6, FXi3, CSi5 - Sub SUB-1200
    2Ch system: MC2105, C-26, AR-XA, MR-80, AR-2A, AR9, BX-300

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bass_Pedal View Post
    Many of the reviews I have read state that the low bass on the 15 is weak and requires a sub to fill it out. This makes little sense to me as my 9's are pretty impressive on their own in the low frequencies. How could a tower speaker with 8'' woofers be lacking bass. Are these opinions coming from people that aren't powering the 15's properly? Anyone else use 15's without a sub for music, if so how are they?
    These reviews are possibly from people who have boom-boom car stereos. Another possibility is they are in cathedral size rooms.

    I have never used a sub with my LSi15s for music. I suppose I could if I listened to gangsta rap at ear splitting levels, but I don't. For movies I rarely turn on the sub (PSW-1000) unless it is a sub-required movie; for example, Master and Commander. Most movies are perfectly fine with the bass from the 15s, which is powerful. Of course, in my case, this is taking place in a 11x12 room.

    As I said in an earlier post, the biggest improvement I saw in going with an external amp, Sunfire TGA-5400, was the bass improved. It was tighter, cleaner, more powerful. However, even off the AVR it still had presence. Before I went with the external amp, I upgraded the rear LSi7s to LSi15s, and the increase in bass during movies was readiliy apparent.

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    When you think about it...the LSi15 is probably a speaker that is most reliant on substantial amp power/headroom...of ALL of Polk's speakers. 4 ohms, moderate sensitivity, and an unpowered 8" woofer that can't be separated from the mid-drivers to boot. Aside from volume, it takes a good amp to provide the kind of headroom and fidelity...and speed...for all those drivers to function cleanly enough to not smudge things together or strain with wide-frequency material. The LSi25 has its own separate powered subwoofer that isn't connected to the other drivers and doesn't have to share amp power/signal.

    I have the LSi9s, and they do great with my separate 150wpc @ 8 ohms (~250wpc @ 4 ohms) amp...but if I were going with the 15's, I'd definitely look into an amp with not only higher power, but the appropriate current capacity and speed. Because once that 8" woofer starts demanding low-freq, high-volume juice, there needs to still be plenty on tap....and quickly...for the rest of the speaker to consistently get what it needs.

    Kinda' like needing an engine that not only provides horsepower, but a lot of torque at both low and high revs for multiple drivetrains at any given time. Better be one hell of an engine.
    Last edited by Whadyasay; 02-04-2009 at 02:14 PM.
    Polk LSi9 Mains, Polk LSIC Center, Polk RT25i Surrounds, Polk M3II Rear Surround, SVS PB10-ISD Sub, Denon AVR 2809 (as digital pre/pro only), Sony BDP-S350, Oppo DV-981HD, Cambridge Audio Azur 540C (CD), Marantz MM9000 5-ch amp, Outlaw ICBM, Panasonic th-42PX85u HDTV, Behringer BFD Pro, Monster Power HTS 2600 Conditioner

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    Excellent analogy. I had a feeling that the 15s could put out all the bass I need as long as they have the power. My plan is to get a second Musical Fidelity A3cr amp and bi-amp the 15's. 210 watts @ 4ohms X2 should be enough, considering I'm in a modest sized apartment.

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    I'm looking very hard at the Lsi15 as well. I don't think there's much around that competes with it at $1700/pr. This is something I have been researching extensively for 2 years...

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

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    Really the closest competitors are the Paradigm Reference line and Onix Rocket 850's. I've owned both (although an older version of the Paradigms) and the LSi15 is about on par with the Rocket's and a step above the Paradigm. The Rocket's have a slightly more open midrange, but they are also a little more expensive. The LSi15 is the best speaker for it's used price, hands down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bass_Pedal View Post
    Excellent analogy. I had a feeling that the 15s could put out all the bass I need as long as they have the power. My plan is to get a second Musical Fidelity A3cr amp and bi-amp the 15's. 210 watts @ 4ohms X2 should be enough, considering I'm in a modest sized apartment.
    What's also really important in amps is their filter capacitors, and how quickly they can refill and release the needed current (I believe). That's really what makes the difference in terms of bass tightness/speed....and in most receivers, despite their on-paper rated wattage, there's just not enough space to fit those larger capacitors. Those are just some of the things behind the 'power numbers' that make a difference between a separate, dedicated power amp and an all-in-one receiver that has to fit everything in that one box.

    But if you're getting another amp that's identical to the one you already have, instead of 'bi-amping', you might want to consider using each one as a mono amp by bridging, if they can have their channels bridged. That way, you'll probably be taking better advantage of the amps' power, rather than having the separate driver connections simply throw away the unwanted frequencies via the internal crossovers. Bi-amping, in this approach, may be more useful if you could separate terminals for the mid-bass and woofers....basically what the LSi25 already does but includes the amp for the subwoofer. But as it stands with the 15s, I believe that one set of dual terminals is only for the tweeter, whereas the other is for the mid-bass and woofer grouped.

    Then again, it might depend on how loud you'll be listening. LSi15's may not be ideal speakers for low-to-medium levels simply by design, regardless of how much power you're driving them with.
    Last edited by Whadyasay; 02-04-2009 at 03:54 PM.
    Polk LSi9 Mains, Polk LSIC Center, Polk RT25i Surrounds, Polk M3II Rear Surround, SVS PB10-ISD Sub, Denon AVR 2809 (as digital pre/pro only), Sony BDP-S350, Oppo DV-981HD, Cambridge Audio Azur 540C (CD), Marantz MM9000 5-ch amp, Outlaw ICBM, Panasonic th-42PX85u HDTV, Behringer BFD Pro, Monster Power HTS 2600 Conditioner

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    Default More LSi15 questions

    Thank you all for your input regarding the 15's!:) Naturally I expected to get a lot of positive feedback on the "top of the line" Polk speaker on the Polk Forum!

    But I'd like to pick your collective brains a little further with some specifics.
    First, in my case I don't think power supply will be an issue - I've got a XPA-5 that'll put out around 400 watts/chnl into a 4 ohm load. I also have a decent sub (SVS PB12 w/NSD upgrade) to round out the bottom end, so I'm not too concerned about what the 15's lack in bass output (if anything).

    I am curious what you all have experienced with placement issues. In my case I will not have the luxury of keeping them very far from boundaries. My listening space is quite large, around 5,000 ft/3, in an very open floor plan with high vaulted ceilings. In spite of all that space the room configuration (and marital harmony) limits me greatly. These speakers will have to reside where my current main L & R speakers are, which will put them about 1 ft out from the front wall, and for the right speaker, only about 1 ft from a side wall. It's a bummer, but there is no way around it. Any of you have your 15's fairly near a boundary? Any problems with that?

    Also, any of you using them in large spaces like mine? Do they produce enough output (SPL) to keep you happy?

    Lastly, for those of you who also use the LSiC in your set-up: how do you like that speaker? It seems like it might be a bit too small to do a really good job in a big room. I hope I'm wrong, but what have you experienced?

    Thanks again.

  22. #22

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    Your main issue may be bloated bass--but since you have a sub, you could high-pass to the Lsi's and let the SVS do the heavy lifting. This might cure the "too close" side wall placement.

    As far as large spaces--I can only speak to the Lsi9's I had in my large listening room (36X14, vaulted). Given what the 9 could do, I'm more than confident that the Lsi15's will fill most any room provided good, clean power is available.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 02-05-2009 at 10:58 AM.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  23. #23

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    Default LSi Design

    Quote Originally Posted by polkatese View Post
    Not until I start thinking about how long since I had my 15, I really think that Polk should have a new lineup of LSis series (wishful thinking say next year.) It's been over 8 years since it was released (I think 2001, if I am not mistaken). Cabinet and crossover are the two that can be improved. Drivers and tweet are good to go, with perhaps the side-firing driver as one that can be bettered too.

    how about it, guys?
    I was also concerned that a "new & improved" version of the LSi's might be coming out soon since they've been in production for so long, but I suppose it's a testament to their quality that they haven't monkeyed with it's design for so long. However, I'm surprised that you listed the cabinet and crossover as the weak points. It was my impression that those were among it's strongest points, at least I'd seen that in the old professional reviews.

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    I'm content with everything besides maybe a better 8" driver and improved crossover. More wood options would be nice also. Market for them would also improve if they made them a 6-8ohm load nominal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ddkane View Post
    I was also concerned that a "new & improved" version of the LSi's might be coming out soon since they've been in production for so long, but I suppose it's a testament to their quality that they haven't monkeyed with it's design for so long. However, I'm surprised that you listed the cabinet and crossover as the weak points. It was my impression that those were among it's strongest points, at least I'd seen that in the old professional reviews.

    It's a wishful thinking on my part. I am not aware of any plan to update LSis that I am aware of, so it shouldn't be a reason for you to enjoy LSis. My wishful thinking are around digging deeper low-end and more "curvy" looking LSis.
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

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    What is it about the crossover that folks feel could stand some improvement? Frequencies? My only thing with the LSi's is that I wish they could look more attractive with the grilles off.

    Easy...we're just talking speakers here, guys. :)
    Polk LSi9 Mains, Polk LSIC Center, Polk RT25i Surrounds, Polk M3II Rear Surround, SVS PB10-ISD Sub, Denon AVR 2809 (as digital pre/pro only), Sony BDP-S350, Oppo DV-981HD, Cambridge Audio Azur 540C (CD), Marantz MM9000 5-ch amp, Outlaw ICBM, Panasonic th-42PX85u HDTV, Behringer BFD Pro, Monster Power HTS 2600 Conditioner

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    I recently picked up a pair of LSi15's to replace a pair LS90's. Here are my impressions.

    The Lsi15 has a beautiful mid and upper end that seems spacious, accurate and effortless. I've had friends over, that on certain songs, have commented about hearing things in the upper area they've never heard before. Great mids and highs.

    People aren't kidding about amplification being a necessity. I liked the speaker before, but I actually found myself smiling after I added a dedicated amp @ 200WPC. The bass tightened up and things seemed a bit clearer overall.

    In fact, my only semi-gripe is the lower mid bass response. Maybe I was spoiled by the LS90's which had a powerful mid to low punch, but there seems to be an area of reserved response in the lower mid frequencies.

    It came to light when I listened to Mr. Brownstone from Guns N' Roses. At roughly the 0:14 sec mark, a chord blast from the guitars comes in. In the LS90's the blast had presence. In the LSi15's it was far more recessed with little impact. In some male vocalist, there also seems to be a slight dip in the chest frequencies. It's as if the beautiful upper end isn't quite attached to the lower frequencies.

    If I could combine the LS90 from about 900Hz down with the LSi15 for 900Hz up, I would be in heaven.

    But, it could very well be my setup. I wish I had multiple setups like some of the other members here so I could really experiment.

    IMHO? Great speakers with a very natural overall sound.
    Slowly emerging from the 90's
    Fronts: Polk LSi15's
    Center: Polk CS350ls
    Pre: Sony STRDA555ES
    Amp: Rotel RMB-1075
    Sub: Velodyne SPL-1000
    TV: 46" Sharp Aquos LCD
    Dust magnet: Sony PS3

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    Tim
    Have you ever done a frequency sweep with the Radio Shack SPL meter? You might have a slight phase issue with the sub/Lsi15's resulting in a suck-out in the mid bass. Might be worth a try...

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  29. #29

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    Good call Steve.

    I had that issue initially, until I ran MCACC on new Pio SC-07 and have phase control in full effect.

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    I actually just bought a Radio Shack SPL meter last weekend, but haven't had the chance to try it out. What are you using to generate the frequencies? Is it a continuous sweep or a series of incremental frequencies?
    Slowly emerging from the 90's
    Fronts: Polk LSi15's
    Center: Polk CS350ls
    Pre: Sony STRDA555ES
    Amp: Rotel RMB-1075
    Sub: Velodyne SPL-1000
    TV: 46" Sharp Aquos LCD
    Dust magnet: Sony PS3

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