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NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles HERE NOW †!!! (Read 2277 times)
Randy in Caintuck
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NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles HERE NOW †!!!
11/01/18 at 20:52:04
 

Wild Burro Audio Labs has recently announced the release of a new Betsy driver .....

For quite a while now, there has been speculation about the possible creation of an Alnico magnet version of the Betsy full range driver.

This is now a reality ..... †!!!



I have auditioned the Alnico drivers in a pair of Betsy baffles and was able to do an A/B comparison with a pair of the original Betsy baffles.

The new drivers are good ..... really good.

The owner of Wild Burro Audio Labs simply states that the new drivers are more "nuanced" than the original. †What I and a couple of my audio buddy / customers heard was very impressive.
More detail and air than the original with the characteristics many music lovers have come to expect from an Alnico magnet driver.

The Alnico drivers will be available in all Caintuck Audio Betsy baffles and will add 220.00 to the original pricing.
This is a very reasonable price for Alnico driver loudspeakers. †

By no means does this make the original Betsy drivers obsolete or less of a value. †Owners of the original Betsy baffles will continue to enjoy the excellent musicality and value of these speakers.

However, it's good to have options .....

I'm expecting a shipment of the new drivers before the end of November.

Website page here

Happy listening,
Randy

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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #1 - 11/02/18 at 04:44:03
 
This is very exciting news Randy! †I personally know how incredible the original Caintuck Betsy Baffles sound. †I also own a a set of Omega loudspeakers with proprietary drivers built around Alnico magnets and I'm a firm believer in this magnetic material in loudspeaker drivers.

I am confident this new Wild Burro driver will be an excellent addition to your already stellar lineup. †There are plenty of folk in this industry that have and continue to sing the praises of Alnico magnets. †I hope that I get to hear them at some point in the near future. †

I have four sets of speakers - Caintuck Betsy Baffles, Decware Monoliths, Omega Super Alnico High Outputs, Hegeman Model 1's. †I really don't need anymore but I'm pretty sure a set of these Alnico's built into one of your beautiful exotic wood baffles is in my future. † Wink
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #2 - 11/02/18 at 16:07:34
 


Hi Jeff,

I'm still disappointed that you were not able to attend Decware Fest 2018 ... †

We sure did have a blast the previous year ..... †

The new Alnico drivers really do sound good.

An interesting thing is that when I had the prototype pair in my listening room and was able to A / B them with a pair of originals (in identical baffles), they sounded noticeably more efficient than the originals using the same amplifier and volume settings.

The owner of WBAL tells me that they actually have a lower sensitivity on paper ..... but all three of my audio buddy / customers agreed with me that they played louder at the same volume setting.

So ..... should I believe "what's on paper" or my own lying ears ? †

Two of my three buddies like the new drivers well enough that they will be buying them.

I'm really excited about this development because it gives the option of a fine sounding speaker at a true giant killer price with the original Betsy and a slightly upscale product with the Alnico version which still doesn't break the bank .....

Best wishes,
Randy

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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #3 - 11/02/18 at 18:39:39
 
I was really bummed I could not swing Decfest this year.  I had such an incredible time last year and was looking forward to Decfest 2018 ever since.  And hanging with my good pal Randy "Mr. Caintuck Audio" made for truly a memorable time.  Looking forward to the next!  

So, Randy.  Put me down for a pair of these new Alnico version baffles.  But let's chat on the phone for a bit.  I want to go nuts on the wood - make them the most stunning pair yet.  Nothing that will break a ton of drill/saw bits though..lol.  sorry about my Bubinga Agues... Huh

Also, I am willing to loan my original Betsy's to anyone in SoCal to audition in their own home if they want to drive over to Orange County to pick them up and and then drop them off.  So, if you know anyone... lemme know.
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Tal
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #4 - 11/02/18 at 19:25:55
 
Jeff

Hi. I may have to take you up on your offer to trial your Betsy's.  ;) I'm in Pasadena.
I've been wanting to try a set of OB speakers, specifically Randy's Betsy's, for a while to see if they are for me.
My system consists of a ZP3 and Bifrost running through a ZR2 to two bridged UFO2's. I  believe the Betsy's are about 92db. I'm wondering if the UFO2 is a good match with the Betsy, or would I need more power?
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #5 - 11/02/18 at 22:59:42
 
Hi Tal,
The UFO2 is plenty of power.  The Betsy's will sound beautiful with that amp.  Anytime you want to come on over, the Betsy's will be here.  I am more than happy to offer 'em up for audition.  Hit me up on PM when ready and Ill give you my address.

Cheers,
Jeff
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #6 - 11/02/18 at 23:44:29
 
Jeff,

  I'd also like to give those Betsy's a listen. Have heard nothing but good things about them over the last few years! Perhaps we can finally have that listening session at your place. Would be a good chance to hear your modded ZMA and my UFO25 head to head.

Ace
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #7 - 11/03/18 at 00:05:27
 
Absolutely Ace!  Let's do it.  Depending on the timing, I will have the original Betsy's and the new Alnico version of the Betsy's to compare.  

And of course everything else you and I have that is of interest we can hook up and listen to.  I am very excited to hear your anniversary Zen!
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #8 - 11/03/18 at 03:15:19
 


Quote:
†I want to go nuts on the wood - make them the most stunning pair yet.


Jeff, you're scaring me ..... †

Remember ..... I'm just a poor old Caintuck hillbilly wood butcher .....

Best wishes,
Randy

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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #9 - 11/03/18 at 03:19:24
 
Nice try Randy. †Remember, you did deliver me those gorgeous Bubinga bass drivers. †Your humbleness is not fooling me. † Wink

Come on my friend... †Build me your dream baffles with those Alnico's!!!
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #10 - 11/03/18 at 03:27:43
 

Quote:
I †believe the Betsy's are about 92db. I'm wondering if the UFO2 is a good match with the Betsy, or would I need more power?


Hi Tal,

The Betsy drivers have a sensitivity rating of 92.4 DB.
However, something I was not aware of until Steve Deckert shared it with me is that a driver in a dipole configuration effectively gains about 3 DB.

That explains a lot.

In the audio storefront I operated in 2016, the main listening room was 17' x 35' with an 11.5' ceiling. †A pair of Betsy baffles powered by my single SE84UFO filled the room with music ..... with no compression, clipping or other nasties that I could detect .....

The lack of any crossover components and the "dipole boost" makes them very efficient.

A very common reaction from most folks hearing the Betsy baffles for the first time is "I can't believe all of that music is coming from those two small baffles" .....

Happy listening,
Randy

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Tal
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #11 - 11/03/18 at 03:32:36
 
Randy

Thats encouraging. I think I'm will trying to arrange a time to trial Jeff's Betsy's to see how I like them. Based on all the raving, I;m sure I won't be disappointed Wink
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Tal
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #12 - 11/03/18 at 03:34:05
 
Jeff

I'll shot you a PM to see if we can arrange a time

Cheers

Tal
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #13 - 11/03/18 at 03:36:27
 


Quote:
Nice try Randy. †Remember, you did deliver me those gorgeous Bubinga bass drivers. †Your humbleness is not fooling me.

Come on my friend... †Build me your dream baffles with those Alnico's!!!


Hi Jeff,

Those Bubinga baffles just about ruined every tool in my workshop ...

I am in the process of building a variety of the "two tone" baffles since 18" widths of quality hardwoods are not as readily available as they were a couple of years ago.

The first ones out of the shop can be found here.

If you have any ideas for something special, I would love to hear them.

Are we having fun yet ..... ?

Happy listening,
Randy

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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #14 - 11/03/18 at 04:28:47
 
Quote:
The first ones out of the shop can be found here.


There we go. Those are some fine looking baffles.  I really dig the two-tone.  

†I am a dreamer Randy †::)

But... I am also a realist so if wood is hard to come by, lets work with what you've got. †Of course we are a couple months away from the Alnico's landing so maybe we'll get lucky and come across something extra special †:o

But nothing as dubious as that bit-murdering Bubinga!

Yes sir!! †The fun meter is pegged to the right! †I am really looking forward to this my friend. †
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #15 - 11/03/18 at 04:32:11
 
Quote:
Jeff

I'll shot you a PM to see if we can arrange a time

Cheers

Tal


Sounds great  Tal.  Ill keep an eye out for the PM.
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #16 - 04/13/19 at 05:36:39
 
Has anyone purchased the Alnico Betsyís yet?  Iím looking for an opinion on how they compare to the regulars.
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #17 - 04/14/19 at 06:20:52
 


Hi Geno,

To the best of my knowledge, no one on the Decware forums has heard both drivers in the Betsy baffles .....

Steve Deckert has a pair of the alnico drivers (as well as the originals) and I think he has been too busy with all of the new amplifier orders and upgrades to do any testing. Hopefully, he will have some time in the near future and post his thoughts .....

I do have a couple of local customers who own baffles with both drivers. They are rather "shy" and don't do much posting to audio forums ..... but I will contact them to see if they would be willing to share their thoughts on the forum or via an email to you.

Best wishes,
Randy

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Geno
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #18 - 04/14/19 at 16:10:39
 
Good morning Randy. Hope things are going well. Iím so happy with the regular driver, I canít imagine changing anything. But you know how this Hobby is...

I certainly appreciate the offer to have someone contact me with their impressions. That would be great.

Best,

Geno
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #19 - 04/16/19 at 05:09:49
 
Geno,

My initial impressions of the new un-burned-in drivers was a wonderful increase in midrange and top end presence which is a hallmark of alnico drivers. The bass response seemed unchanged which is to say that with the increase in mid and top end presence, the bass should also be lifted somewhat to maintain balance and it is not yet there at the 25 hour mark.  My guess is the speakers will finish just shy of where I would like to be  from a frequency balance point of view.  In every other way, they are already winners.  If they were combined with the bass baffles it would be fabulous which frankly makes more sense since objective is an elevated listening experience from top to bottom.  

If you want to play the baffles by themselves without bass augmentation, like I usually do, the stock driver is going to be warmer and more forgiving, this we can already tell.

I'll update my results when I have some meaningful time on the speakers and have rotated them through the mill of amplifiers we have here.

-Steve
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #20 - 04/16/19 at 12:51:19
 
Thanks Steve. I have 2 of Randyís 12Ē bass baffles, so no problem there. I think Iíll go ahead and order a pair. Hell, at that price, why not!
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #21 - 04/18/19 at 14:04:28
 


Hi Steve,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts .....

I received permission from my local customer / audio buddy (Roger) to share some of his thoughts that he emailed to Geno .....

Roger's drivers are well broken in and he uses several different amplifiers in his system ..... so it stands to reason that his observations might differ slightly from Steve's.

Here are his thoughts .....

"I've been enjoying mine since December. For two and a half years prior to that I enjoyed the original Betsys.

I'll start by saying the Betsy Alnico is more Betsy. They have the same great Betsy signature sound just more of it. They're more detailed through out their frequency response range. Bass is a little deeper, fuller and tighter. The highs aren't any more extended however they are more airy with greater detail. Vocals male and female sound great. Vocals have more air around them as if they were recorded in a cathedral. On good not great recordings they're a little more forgiving than the original Betsys. That isn't saying they'll make a bad recording sound good or even listenable. After all they're still Betsys, meaning they're still very honest and will let you know when you play a poorly recording album. They also play louder than the original Betsy or at least sound as if they're playing louder.

I think anyone who likes the Betsys will like the Betsy Alnico even more."

End of quote

From my perspective, both the original Betsy drivers and the new alnico version are wonderfully musical and cost effective ..... and I can live with either one quite nicely.
If money is not an object, the alnico drivers (at 330.00 a pair) are a bargain .... and for 110.00 a pair the original drivers are a no-brainer .....

One thing I should mention .....
I am not in a position to accept "trade-ins" for existing customers who wish to change to the alnico drivers.
In addition, my arrangement with Wild Burro Audio Labs does not permit me to sell "raw" drivers. I can only sell the WBAL drivers as part of a completed pair of Betsy baffles.

If a person wishes to purchase a pair of drivers (original or alnico) they can contact Douglas at Wild Burro Audio Labs.

Happy listening,
Randy

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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #22 - 04/18/19 at 22:30:25
 
Iím glad that you posted this Randy, because Rogers email was in my Junk email folder for some reason. I just read it and responded to him. Thanks for your impressions too!

Best,

Geno
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #23 - 05/04/19 at 16:14:03
 
Just ordered a pair of the Alnicoís! Looking forward to giving them a run Cool
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #24 - 05/08/19 at 06:25:11
 


So I have an update on the Alnico drivers, they are nearing a full break-in at this point and finished better in the bass than I had estimated they would. †I am happy to report the overall balance ends up the same as the original betsy drivers and that was important, because those drivers have something wonderful to share with the world.

These new Alnico drivers, are the same driver, just a different magnet material. The resolution and presence of the Alnico is perhaps nearly double the original driver, yet it somehow managed after break-in to maintain a warm character. Simply Amazing. †

I don't remember what amplifier I was using, other than it was probably not burned-in and when combined with fresh out-of-the box alnico drivers I did not have an out-of-body experience. I could not even listen to them at first. Fast forward to the third or fourth try and putting in my well seasoned 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier and suddenly the weight and body I felt was lacking was there and in good balance. Simply amazing. †

I have to admit that the combination of Alnico magnet and open baffle have shoved the playback ecstasy of this amplifier to yet ANOTHER level. It's simply astounding what these damn things do. †

The sound is so good it has inspired me to create some 15 inch bass baffles using vintage alnico 15 inch drivers to see if I can wean myself off the DNA2's and Bob's HR-1's. ; ). †I already have the woofers... probably worth around 3 grand -- the universe brought them to me for $150. † so it would be an insult not to use them. †

On a final note, I have to say -- and the way these Alnico drivers finished in these baffles just proves it -- that there is something special going on with Randy's baffle design. †By the math there is no way these baffles can reproduce the full rich bass response that they do. †So how is it happening? †

Tonight I decided to get the cad program out and draw the baffle exactly so that I could see what it looked like if it were perfectly scaled up for a fifteen-inch driver. †Lots of measuring, and interestingly, lot's of prime numbers and ratios discovered here. †If you do research into ancient harmonic architecture you will learn that certain shapes and mathematical ratios create particular energies. †When I see these ratios in the betsy baffle shape and hear the warm full bass that they reproduce I have to wonder...

In any case, the final analysis is that the new betsy baffles with a single 8 inch alnico diver in them can be fully enjoyed on their own without bass augmentation. †This is my prerequisite for all Decware speakers and or recommended speakers.

Taking it a bit further, they are so outrageous they dare to compete for top bidding in the Decware listening room.  Despite the DNA2's and or the HR-1' having probably two octaves lower bass, the midrange of these is so realistic and well-rounded that I am no longer sure which is actually the better speakers.

-Steve

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Steve Deckert
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles available soon †!!!
Reply #25 - 05/08/19 at 06:42:32
 
As a follow-up I have been contemplating building some open-baffle speakers for about a year now, to hear what the 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amp would do with four fifteen inch drivers per channel and a good eight inch full-range driver in the middle on each side.†So I have been doing a lot of listening to the open baffles with two and four 15 inch drivers and sadly have recognized a coloration from the multiples of deep 15 inch cones that I can't deal with so I am going to scrap the idea. You can hear it in virtually all of the youtube videos of these type of speakers. Don't get me wrong, the impact and mid-bass is over the top good, so not a terrible trade-off by any standard, just not my favorite. Randy's baffle shape kills this sound that I hear and I now think that a single 15 in one of Randy's baffles for each side will get me where I'm trying to go which is down to 40Hz with the same amazing bigger than life scale.

Seriously, the new 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier on Randy's open baffle speakers (#Canintuck Audio -- Betsy Open Baffle) is a mind-melter and the Alnico drivers, while expensive will melt you face off and frankly none of you other high-priced audio crap ever did that, did it?

Great stuff from Caintuck Audio and Decware that literally breaks ALL the rules from both ends and meets in the middle with the finger to $100K systems.

(Sorry, I had to say that just to see Randy do a face palm and then shake his head...)

Steve
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles HERE NOW †!!!
Reply #26 - 05/09/19 at 02:52:35
 
I received my Alnicoís this afternoon. Like Steve said, they were a little harsh at first, but after just an hour, the sound was already getting much better.  Now about 3 hours in I am getting really excited about how they should sound 100 hours in. Loving it!!!
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Re: NEW !!! †Alnico Betsy baffles HERE NOW †!!!
Reply #27 - 05/09/19 at 14:53:33
 


Hi Geno,

I'm so happy to hear that you are liking the new alnico drivers .....

Hi Steve,

I just finished the face palm and head shaking .....

Thank you so much for the update on the alnico drivers and your very kind comments about the original and alnico Betsy baffles.

As regular readers of the Decware forums well know, I am not a "numbers guy" and don't even pretend to understand what constitutes a good sounding loudspeaker "on paper".
The only thing I know is what sounds good to me.

When I first started building open baffle speakers, I literally made dozens of baffles in various sizes and shapes using several different full range drivers and two way combinations.

Some of the drivers were much more expensive than the WBAL Betsy drivers and had better "specs" ..... but, at the end of the day I kept going back to the Betsy drivers because they made me want to listen to music. †That is the only valid criteria I have for audio components.

The "barrel shaped" baffles ended up being the size and shape that worked best for me ..... especially when an additional "bass baffle" or two was added to the mix.

The modest size of the baffle also makes shipping fairly easy and an added bonus is that the Betsy baffles have a fairly high Wife Acceptance Factor .....

The alnico drivers add a new twist to the equation ..... and I think that both the original drivers and the alnico drivers are an outstanding value at their price points.

There are no perfect loudspeakers ..... every design has a compromise of some sort. What is important is that they make music and make the listener want to have them as a part of their audio system.

When combined with a decent front end component and a musical and revealing amplifier like the ones in the Decware line ..... the Betsy baffles do a good job at accomplishing this for a very reasonable amount of money.

I have heard the Betsy baffles with nearly every currently available Decware amplifier and every combination has sounded very good to me ..... just a different "flavor" .....

It is a genuine pleasure and an honor to be a small part of the Decware Audio community .....

Happy listening,
Randy

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