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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Middle to High End Home Theater

Kind of surprised we don't have a sub-forum for this.

I was just buying a HDMI to DVI cable as it turns out my old plasma doesn't have HDMI (lame) and the flat screen in the bedroom has too crappy of wifi signal for the boxee to work (i haven't run a cable because we are planning on selling - so I have been making do)

In any case the lack of HDMI in my otherwise awesome amp has become more and more of a pita - so I went peeking to see what mine was worth nowadays and what Denon has out in the middle / upper lines (top of the line is way overkill for my needs)

I saw this.
http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/r...-avr-4311ci-fl

The Denon AVR 4311CI


There are a few of you who really know your stuff, and I admittedly have only read one review.. but.. [email protected]!#$

What do you guys think? What else is there in the 1500-2k pricepoint along those lines?


here is the review - this thing rocks

Quote:
So, what do you want in a receiver? What do you need? More importantly, what do you think you'll need a year from now? Two years? Three? Are you interested in the latest protocols, like Apple's new iTunes AirPlay? If you are only shucking out $200, $300, $500 for a receiver, you may well expect to upgrade every year or three. At that price point, for many, it is practically an impulse buy. But you know you're not getting the latest features, the best amps, or all the current technology and components that are available. But if price is all that matters and you'd rather take a $500 hit every couple of years rather than a $2000 one and hope that your receiver keep you happy long enough to justify the price, that's up to you.

Eventually, you'll be tempted. You'll see a new receiver come out and look at the feature set and think, "My God, it's full of stars," (or something to that effect). You'll take a look at the bank, remember you've got a bonus check on the way, and start value shopping for B-stock. But right as you are about to pull the trigger, you have a moment of panic. Should you do it? Should you spend all that money? Will you feel like a new man the next day or will you feel like sitting in the shower, fully clothed, crying?

And then, on top of that, Denon recently announced support for Apple AirPlay, the company's new wireless audio protocol that will support multiple products across the board. According to the Denon website:

Coming in the Fall of 2010 is a planned upgrade that provides Apple iTunes AirPlay compatibility that lets you stream your favorite music to the AVR-4311CI.

Denon knows who you are and is trying to push you over the edge. The new Apple iTunes AirPlay compatibility is just one function that shows the company is staying on top of technology and monitoring what's really hot in the industry. The update won't require any hardware adjustments, just a firmware update via the included Ethernet port. If you've got an Internet connection, you should be ready to go and streaming music to and from AirPlay compatible devices will be possible. Is this the next step in the solution of whole house audio? We're not sure, but it will be interesting to see what other manufacturers pick up the torch and carry it along.

We reviewed the AVR-4310CI a while back and were impressed with it's staying power. Denon has one-upped the 4310 with it's newly announced (shipping in September) AVR-4311CI. This receiver will have all the features of its predecessor and a few you've (and we've for that matter) never heard of. Let's start with what you know. For starters, the new AVR-4311 is 10wpc more powerful than its predecessor (up from 130wpc to 140wpc) while Denon also packed in two more amplifiers so you can now run simultaneous front height and back channels to take advantage of PLIIz decoding. Unlike many manufacturers these days packing in more features and amplifier channels, Denon obviously didn't compromise quality here as evident by the new AVR-4311CI weight increase of 4lbs to accommodate a bigger power supply. Denon utilizes discrete amplification for all channels as you can see in the dual rows of heatsinks flanked by a large E-core transformer at the center.

The inclusion of two additional internal amplifier channels over the AVR-4311CI's predecessor makes this receiver a true 9.2 channel system. This gives the user and the installer much more flexibility to use the additional height/width channels now available for in the advanced processing of the latest DSPs or just more flexibility when powering more zones of audio. Denon also claims the AVR-4311CI is expandable to 11.2 channels to handle any future formats wanting to add speakers to the ceiling or the bathroom so you don't miss a beat while doing your business.

Of course the Denon AVR-4311CI will have all the latest audio processing for Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby ProLogic IIz, and Audyssey DSX. Such processing is available at price points much below the the $2000 asking price of the AVR-4310CI. The receiver is networkable with access to Internet radio, Pandora, and Flickr as well as DLNA certification for streaming content from local computers. The AVR-4311CI features dual parallel HDMI outputs and a host of HDMI inputs (six on the back, one on the front) that have all been upgraded to the HDMI 1.4a spec. As you'd expect at this price point, there are a slew of inputs and outputs including three component video, a host of digital audio (both coaxial and optical), IR ins and outs, 12volt control, RS232, and support for up to three zones of audio.

Denon has again included top-of-the-line video upconversion ability via Anchor Bay Technologies VRS processing to HD quality (up to 1080p/24/60). They've also included a built-in HD Radio, DENON Link 4th (a single cable solution for those with other Denon components), featuring HDMI Clock Control – when using the HDMI interface for A/V output for Blu-ray playback in combination with Denon Link, Clock Jitter Control gives the Master Clock and Jitter reduction to be handled by the connected Denon A/V Receiver/Processor.



What's new? Well, there is a lot. First, Denon has made the AVR-4311CI as user and integration friendly as possible. For upgraded iPod/iPhone performance, the AVR-4311CI is ‘Works with iPhone’ certified which means it will access your content from your iPod/iPhone via a USB cable rather than a separate dock. For integrators, they can access the receiver's menu's over the Internet (reducing the number of costly home visits) and in a first-of-its-kind move for the company, Denon is now creating (and publishing on its dedicated CI Portal) its own complete Crestron remote control modules. In addition, the new AVR-4311CI has Control4 Certification for smooth integration with all Control4 IP-based home automation and etertainment systems. It is also officially "Compatible with Windows 7," ensuring full compatibility with the updated ‘Play To’ functionality of the new Microsoft operating system.

Two additional features have caught our attention. First, the Denon AVR-4311CI is the first receiver to include Audyssey's MultEQ XT 32 Room Correction, with 32 times the resolution quality of the current MultEQ XT system. With the addition of Audyssey’s new Sub EQ HT, the AVR-4311CI will provide users with the highest level of audio playback quality even in the most demanding of listening environments. This should greatly increase the receivers ability not only to provide a quality listening experience, but to integrate more seamlessly subwoofer(s) into the system. The AVR-4311CI is the first Denon Audyssey enabled system that will provide the user the option to simultaneously calibrate all subs with a single correction curve to ensure the best integration possible. This is what we recommend when calibrating multiple subs and we've asked Denon to implement this option for many years. See Home Theater Multiple Subwoofer Set-Up Calibration Guide

Lastly, the AVR-4311CI has a feature that we've only seen on two other receivers before (Yamaha RX-Z7 and RX-Z11) - Pre Amp Mode. For years we've been suggesting to our readers that they get a receiver with pre-outs so that, if they feel the need, they can add an amp later. Dedicated separates were (for a very long time) out of the reach of most consumers and were (until recently) usually lacking some of the most recent features. Opponents of using a receiver as a pre amp often sited multiple reasons (not all of which were valid ) for not using one. Denon has addressed all that with their new Pre Amp Mode. Now, the external amplifiers can be disconnected from the power supply section, thereby allowing all other operating components to receive the purest power and also eliminating any chance of “noise” from the amplifier section infiltrating and potentially degrading the audio/video paths. In a brilliant move, Denon has allowed the Pre Amp Mode optional setting in which selected amplifier channels may also be configured for multi-zone use, while the main zone amplifiers are shut down. This gives users a tremendous amount of flexibility in setting up their system in a variety of ways without compromising fidelity or features.

Conclusion
What do you want out of a receiver? Do you want power? Video upconversion? Networking and streaming? 9.2 decoding and amplification with the ability to expand to 11.2? Do you want it all plus the ability to shutdown the internal amps to use your receiver as a dedicated Pre/Pro without risk of contamination of the signal by noise and heat? If we have one bad thing to say about Denon in general and the AVR-4311CI specifically it's that they keep exceeding our expectations. When we reviewed the AVR-4310CI we thought it had more than it's price point suggested. Now, the AVR-4311CI has addressed most of our minor gripes with it's predecessor, added features we didn't even know existed, and did it all without changing the retail price. If this isn't a home run of a product, we don't know what is.

Last edited by iamnotgreg; 11-16-2010 at 09:37 AM.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 08:23 AM
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I'm not reading that whole article. Tell us what you want and we'll make suggestions. Spending 1500-2000 on a receiver is stupid, in my opinion.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 08:30 AM
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I should be more specific. What does the 4311 offer that the 3311 doesn't that you feel you need, or will need? I'm not recommending either of them at this point, I'm just pointing out that the msrp price difference between them is large and the feature set difference is minuscule.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 08:56 AM
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I wouldn't go as far as to say *stupid*, but one has to question what features at that price point you feel you really need.

That's a hell of a receiver, I wouldn't mind the network connection; but for *my* purposes, I could get by with a $1000 receiver and people still leave my house blown away by the experience.

As Chris said, what do you *really* need?

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 08:59 AM
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I say it's stupid because at $2k you should really be considering separates unless you have some major space issues. And if that is the case you should get one of the new marantz slimline models, if I ever replace my living room receiver that's probably the direction I'll go.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Middle to High End Home Theater

I certainly don't need it. The 3805 I have I still really like. I may look into a hdmi splitter, perhaps I can even get one that I could use more seamlessly with my amp.

My av system is all in storage with the rest of my life. Running 2 sets of baby Bose cubes and a cheap sub off the 3805. I have a 7.2 system in storage.

I just went looking at the current offerings out of curiosity. You two were specifically who I wanted to hear from.

This reminds me I bought that setup mic for my amp and never used it. I can't wait to move
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:06 AM
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I say it's stupid because at $2k you should really be considering separates unless you have some major space issues. And if that is the case you should get one of the new marantz slimline models, if I ever replace my living room receiver that's probably the direction I'll go.
That's too slippery of a slope for me. I'd find myself looking at $2k (each) separates...except I'd have to buy one piece a year in order to afford it, and by the time I got the last piece, the first piece would be obsolete.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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LR I was thinking precisely the same thing

I just thought this thing was pretty amazing and the 9.2 with a software flash possible to 11.2. Wow. Overkill? Certainly. But pretty cool.

I also like the fact that it has all kinds of net radio and airplay integrated, but I have so many components that can do most of those things now it's kind of a moot point
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post
That's too slippery of a slope for me. I'd find myself looking at $2k (each) separates...except I'd have to buy one piece a year in order to afford it, and by the time I got the last piece, the first piece would be obsolete.
You start with a decent amp and a low dollar receiver that has pre-amp outs, then you bide your time till a full fledged pre/pro comes out that does everything and does it well without breaking the bank. You can do it for well under 2k, especially if you keep an eye on audiogon.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:20 AM
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What exactly are you hoping to accomplish? A pioneer VSK-1120K along with an apple TV can pretty much do everything you want for around $600 out the door. Given the speakers you are driving, the AMP section is the only thing you are giving up, and your speakers are the choke point more than the receiver.

The Pioneer has the Marvel chip set for video, a selectable 2 channel amp that can be setup for zone 2 or front height speakers. It is network ready, ipod compatible, and for those out there with an iphone / ipod touch even has an app that allows you to control it via your wifi, making a really neat zone 2 remote control (especially when you add an Apple TV to control the content)

Please note, I am not advocating the Pioneer, it is probably the receiver I am going to get as it is talked very highly about over on AVS. If you were intent on spending over $1000 I would look at the emotiva gear as it is supposed to be an excellent value setup for around $1200 with the UPA7 amp or closer to $2000 with the XPA Amps (using one XPA-5 and one XPA-3 leaving one extra amp channel) You would have nice dedicated AMP section and could easily upgrade the pre-amp as new features come out.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:23 AM
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emotiva pre/pros are a bag of mixed reviews regarding bugginess and poorly implemented features. If they can hammer out the software they're an awesome bargain though.


/their amps look to be the best deal for a new amp by far, I'd like to own one.

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vcook View Post
emotiva pre/pros are a bag of mixed reviews regarding bugginess and poorly implemented features. If they can hammer out the software they're an awesome bargain though.


/their amps look to be the best deal for a new amp by far, I'd like to own one.
that is good to know - I am not looking to purchase anything in that price catagory. I am really looking at the Pioneer 1120 as it appears to be an excellent bargain at around $450-$475.

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:25 AM
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Stop wasting my time on this overdone AVR talk and find Jimmy a $1000 PJ already.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
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Stop wasting my time on this overdone AVR talk and find Jimmy a $1000 PJ already.
haha, I'll try to dig up some info later. I haven't followed the PJ market as much though, maybe clearwater has done some recent research?

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:28 AM
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haha, I'll try to dig up some info later. I haven't followed the PJ market as much though, maybe clearwater has done some recent research?
I am not looking at Projectors - my space doesnt cooperate. I am going with the Samsung PN58C500 (58" plasma)

sorry, can't help.

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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:36 AM
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Stop wasting my time on this overdone AVR talk and find Jimmy a $1000 PJ already.
http://www.consumersearch.com/projectors

I have heard some rumblings of the HD20 being a good buy for a $1000 1080P.

here is a post on AVS that was posted today
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1290564

http://www.cepro.com/slideshow/image/7380/

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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:36 AM
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Love my reciever, some pretty nice feature compatibility and has done me good, just got it last year.

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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:38 AM
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One thing I really want on my next receiver is on screen volume display, pretty key if your receiver is out of sight.

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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 09:44 AM
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i too am into high-end stereo stuff and hands down the bomb diggy of surround sound set ups.

this is what i am rolling with

a couple of these with a modified sub woofer from my computer my house be rocken YO!





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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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http://www.consumersearch.com/projectors

I have heard some rumblings of the HD20 being a good buy for a $1000 1080P.

here is a post on AVS that was posted today
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1290564

http://www.cepro.com/slideshow/image/7380/

Wow.
I don't even want to know how much this thing costs.
I think the whole "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" adage probably applies here
http://www.runco.com/_webapp_3412340/3Dimension_D-73d


This one is pretty cool looking too. Is that Ferrari red?
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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:26 AM
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All this projector talk reminds me that I'm due for a new bulb on mine...I'm getting on screen warnings it needs to be replaced, and it takes a while to warm up (brightness flickers for 5 minutes till it's warm then settles).

Picture quality is still perfect, and after warm up it's fine...but I'm sure it's going to pop any day now.

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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:26 AM
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Thanks Chris (not Vcook) for those links. The HD20 (HD180 at Costco) seems to be the best value out there currently.

Back to AVRs....
Someone explain to me why onscreen volume goes away w the use of HDMI? When previously using component I had onscreem volume?
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:27 AM
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I have a spare bulb for you LR....$500.
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:28 AM
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i'm not reading that whole article. Tell us what you want and we'll make suggestions. Spending 1500-2000 on a receiver is stupid, in my opinion.
+1

"includes 10 used-car dealers or auto repair shops, 11 liquor stores and bars--two of which advertise lingerie fashion shows and a third billed as a "gentlemen's club"--three cut-rate motels and one trailer park. The squat, brick municipal building is next to a currency exchange and a few steps from an adult video store. The bars open at 10 a.m. and close at 6:30 a.m."

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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:41 AM
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Back to AVRs....
Someone explain to me why onscreen volume goes away w the use of HDMI? When previously using component I had onscreem volume?
The video processor has to decode the signal, then overlay the volume, then repackage it back up to send out to the display device. You need a really good video process for this. With analog video(like component) overlaying this information is simple.

Chris
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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:42 AM
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Back to AVRs....
Someone explain to me why onscreen volume goes away w the use of HDMI? When previously using component I had onscreem volume?
What do we mean exactly, when you say "Onscreen Volume goes away?"

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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:43 AM
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What do we mean exactly, when you say "Onscreen Volume goes away?"
on screen volume display over HDMI is usually only an option in high end receivers and pre/pros, but most will do it over component.

Chris
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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:47 AM
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on screen volume display over HDMI is usually only an option in high end receivers and pre/pros, but most will do it over component.
Yup still think it's a little over my head

Is it LITERALLY just displaying your volume level on your tv?

Yea I just set my stuff up, as easy and quickly as I could, I actually just ran a fiber/optic cable from my TV to my reciever and ran all my components via HDMI, directly into my TV, so all my sound just filters directly through the optic cable no matter the component being used TV to AVR... Thats about my level of interaction with my AVR thus far. I know if I would have ran an HDMI cable from the AVR to my TV I would have gotten my GUI interface to adjust settings through the TV, but didn't feel like getting into that at the time ha.

Tom

Last edited by IceCold81; 11-16-2010 at 10:51 AM.
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:56 AM
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 11:03 AM
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on screen volume display over HDMI is usually only an option in high end receivers and pre/pros, but most will do it over component.
My Denon AVR591 (~$350) does it over HDMI, but it wasn't something I was looking for. I pretty much needed a receiver that would allow me to only run 1 HDMI cable to my TV (mounted on my wall, 15 ft away). And cheaper was better, as I live in an apartment and really don't have a need for a massive system, as much as I tried to convince myself I wanted it

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