Nad d1050 dac

mantismantis Posts: 15,122
edited April 2014 in Going Digital
What's up everyone?
I just picked up a NAD D1050 DAC to go along with my new quest NAD. Coming From the Pioneer Elite SC-68 which had a Built in USB DAC, I needed a new way to listen to my computer music as the NAD T187 does not have a built in USB DAC.
I'm gonna spend some time tonight and tomorrow really getting to know the D1050. I'll also post pic's as usual.

Dan
Dan
My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
Post edited by mantis on

Comments

  • pearsall001pearsall001 Posts: 4,333
    edited March 2014
    mantis wrote: »
    What's up everyone?
    I just picked up a NAD D1050 DAC to go along with my new quest NAD. Coming From the Pioneer Elite SC-68 which had a Built in USB DAC, I needed a new way to listen to my computer music as the NAD T187 does not have a built in USB DAC.
    I'm gonna spend some time tonight and tomorrow really getting to know the D1050. I'll also post pic's as usual.

    Dan

    That looks like a very nice piece Dan. Give it a good workout & of course your review will be very informative as usual.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
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  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 10,167
    edited March 2014
    I have one on the way, going to be using it as headphone amp/DAC for desk top. Hope you enjoy
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,122
    edited March 2014
    I I hooked it up yesterday and It hasn't been off since. I burned it in overnight to really get a idea about it's performance.
    I just gotta be honest, NAD builds amazing sound gear. I want to get that out of the way so heres my review of the D1050.

    IMG_7272_zps97fc1ae4.jpg
    It comes in a nice double box.
    IMG_7273_zps4cdd1432.jpg
    IMG_7274_zps4e073072.jpg
    Unboxing was a pleasure. Quality everywhere. I was pretty impressed. Actually the damn DAC is built nicer then my Preamp and amp. I wish NAD would take this design and apply it to the T series. The T series sucks in the looks department, it's the only thing right now I'm not digging at all. It's not GOOD looking gear. The DAC on the other hand is beautiful.
    Take a look
    IMG_7277_zps20bd5286.jpg
    IMG_7278_zpscf2df5b3.jpg
    So I decided to jump right into computer music and go USB. I use a Audioquest Carbon 1.5m which over time became my favorite USB cable. I did a big shootout but all the cables where new and not really run in very well. I tried to put some hours on them but I noticed improvements over a much longer period of time.
    This DAC is probably the best overall sounding I have had here under a grand. It's incredibly smooth and super clear. Remarkable in performance. I think it's better then the Cambridge Dac magic Plus I had here last year but without doing a side by side, I can't be completely sure. Not to mention I have better sounding gear now and I think that has a lot to do with it.
    One thing I found is the display on it just shows 192 and never changes. I don't get it. When I send 88.2 stuff to it, it still says 192.
    Check it out.
    IMG_7283_zpsf967c9d2.jpg
    I don't care as my music sounds so life like and real. Cleaning my sound up really put a huge smile on my face.
    I can't say I didn't and don't like the Pioneer Elite SC-68 , actually value wise it blows away the NAD gear. Think about this for a minute. I have to buy an amp which retails for 2799.99, then a Preamp which cost 2999.99. Then the DAC for 500 bucks. I'm not even done yet as I have to buy Interconnects 5 of them to connect the amp to the preamp, so lets say about 700 bucks there, then not only do I need one replacement power cord but now I need 2 so lets call that 600 bucks. The DAC has external power and probably I will dig into a better power supply so who knows what that will cost.
    Now compare all that expense to the SC-68. It retails for 2500 bucks and it sounds close to the NAD setup. Not better or equal , just close. It's a very good AVR and I'll go on record to say the best overall one ever build bare none. Overall is the key word here as the value is off the charts for what I do and what you get.

    BUT....
    I'm wondering if I would go back to the SC-68 and be happy now that I got a full separate system again? Probably not ever go back to a AVR based system as the level of performance I'm getting now is more where I want to be.
    IMG_7289_zps242438c5.jpg
    I did however decide to really push the DAC and run Optical and Digital coax to it from my Blu ray and Apple TV. So I could hear other options to use an external DAC and if it made any improvements going external vs internal in the T187 Pre over HDMI. Well I use all Cinnamon HDMI cables and a Chocolate on the Blu ray and I can tell you I can't really hear anything different using 16 44.1 stuff. No air no clarity no nothing better here. I was a bit surprised but not really as the NAD T187 is an amazing sound pre. It's really that good and the design intrigues me as down the road I can change out cards for upgrades. We shall see how that goes. NAD is pretty big on this concept and hopefully it will benefit me.

    Overall I'm gonna say I'm completely happy with the DAC. The D1050 is a entry level high quality DAC and for 500 bucks I think it's a class leader. I'm not sure what chip set it uses as I gotta make a call as I have not seen it in the spec's or anywhere yet. But I'll keep digging as I would like to know. Its so damn smooth and true.

    IMG_7275_zpsf177d226.jpg
    Almost forgot the touch on and source switching. It has a soft power on and source switching buttonless on top. You kinda gotta install it vertical. I don't really care for that as I much rather have in on it's side and put in inside my rack. I'll probable do that and just position it so i can get the the source button but really after my listening of 16/44.1 stuff on the Blu ray and Apple TV, I'l probably only use the USB input and leave it there forever.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,122
    edited March 2014
    Ok so I have been listening all weekend , can't stop actually and I noticed my Software was locked in up sampling. So this is why when I would switch tracks the DAC would stay in 192k. I was puzzled at first and thought the DAC just up sampled to 192k over USB but I was wrong. When I discovered this I replayed all the songs that where not 24/192 and listened to them correctly.
    I have some great stuff on 16 / 44.1 that is ripped in from CD's and now the DAC allows me to see the change.
    IMG_7293_zps779a8939.jpg

    In My High Rez Collection ( small but growing) I have some 24/48 stuff
    IMG_7294_zpsfa0dfe87.jpg
    And also 24/96
    IMG_7295_zps73cde47b.jpg

    One thing I gotta do is research the Internal DAC on the T187 and the D1050. When I'm playing 16/44.1 stuff into the DAC or over HDMI , they sound exactly the same. I did extensive listening today ( I'm off Mondays ) and I completely believe the D1050 and the T187 share the same DAC. Kinda makes me wish the T187 had a B USB input like the SC-68 does so I wouldn't have to have another piece , Interconnects , power cord etc. Not to mention I have to switch the DAC manually from USB to Optical 1 to Coax 1( it has 2 optical and Coax inputs). Not a huge deal but can't easily switch sources fast to really hear the differences if any.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 4,448
    edited April 2014
    COOL!!! interesting looking unit for sure. I had a friend looking for something with a Tuner and that would do sat. radio and I directed him to the NAD c446. So far he likes that as well.

    THe 1050 has some good reviews on it.
    Lumin D1,Wireworld Silver Eclipse, KEF LS50 Wireless, Velodyne SPL1200, Technics 1200, Denon DL160, Jolida D9,
    USB helpers: w4s Recovery
    Living Room Elite SC27, LSI25, SDA 3.1TL
    Have but haven't used in a while: LH Labs VI Dac, Cayin SCD50T

  • mantismantis Posts: 15,122
    edited April 2014
    I've had it for a week now and I'm loving it. It's got a very nice warm inviting sound to it but not at the expense of top end detail clarity and sparkle.
    Bass is tight and well defined , mid range is focused and strong while the top end is clear detailed and very strong. The balance is remarkable especially at this price point.
    I want to get my hands on the Teac 501 as thats the rave DAC right now. Phil seems to love his.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • danz1906danz1906 Posts: 5,152
    edited April 2014
    Nice Dac.............Congrats!
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,122
    edited April 2014
    When I first got it and started to compare it to the Internal DACs of the T187 , I felt there was no improvement running 16/44.1 stuff. I tried using the CD and Streaming into the Apple TV VIA my Mac and my iPhone. My Blu ray player and Apple TV are connected to the T187 with HDMI cables. 1m Cinnamon on the Apple TV and a 1m Chocolate on the Bl ray. To the DAC I got a 2m Coax to the DAC from the Blu ray player and a 2m Optical from the Apple TV. All Audioquest mind you.
    After a week , and switching back and forth between all 3, I noticed that when using the external DAC , I get a very small amount of Detail over using the Internal DAC's of the T187. It's not huge or stands out like a sore thumb , it's little things like more strings heard , cleaner darker space between instruments. It's not easy to hear these differences if you just listening and enjoying the music. It's when you pick a Instrument to listen to , you can hear it better with the DAC.
    So the question is which I don't know yet is IF the Internal DAC is the same exact DAC as the external where is the loss? Is it the HDMI transfer? I got damn good cables there, could be the flaw in that Technology. The only way to know is to connect the Coax and Optical directly to the T187 , listen then rewire back to the DAC. This method for me sucks as I can't switch from my listening position and really get a sense of any differences. To much time goes by and I have to study it harder.
    Is it because the DAC uses a external power supply? Keeping any possible interference away from the signal path? Given the quality of the T187 I'd hope this not be true. You would think the Internal DAC should absolutely equal or beat the external due to hard wiring and much shorter signal paths. Hell I have a 1m Audioquest analog RCA to RCA cable from the DAC to the T187. Thats a lot more copper then the internal DAC signal has to travel once it's been converted.

    I really need to get an array of DAC's here again to really test this, see at what level does the quality of sound improve to the point where it's very easy to tell the difference. Right now it's so close if I was only doing 16 / 44.1 stuff I wouldn't spend the money on a external DAC since the T187 sounds so good using HDMI.

    I'm gonna have to get a hold of NAD Tech Support and dig into this and the possibility of a new Module DAC for USB 24/192 stuff. I seen one for their 2 channel piece, hopefully they have one or that one could be used on this. That would be badass.

    This is the Piece , check this out> This would be a great piece to start a 2 channel 24 / 192 rig. I got to get my hands on this.
    http://nadelectronics.com/products/dac/C-390DD-Direct-Digital-Powered-DAC-Amplifier
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,397
    edited April 2014
    Glad your diggin' it Dan. In my own experiences, TOTL receivers need a pretty good dac to best their own. Also those slight differences you hear could very well be the cabling that is non existent in the Nad receiver. I would be more inclined to believe the sonic signatures of the added cables from the dac are playing a bigger role than the actual signal path length.
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,397
    edited April 2014
    Btw Dan, your exploits into dacs and cabling have you more focused on picking out instruments in the music to zero in on in your evaluations. This is exactly, in part, how I evaluate cables and gear myself. Amazing what you hear when focused on particular segments of the music.

    This is also in part what we mean by "critical listening"....something we fail to do too often, including myself. Sorry for the slight derail, but worth taking note. Again, congrats on the new toy and enjoy the tunes. Looks like a keeper for you.
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,122
    edited April 2014
    tonyb wrote: »
    Btw Dan, your exploits into dacs and cabling have you more focused on picking out instruments in the music to zero in on in your evaluations. This is exactly, in part, how I evaluate cables and gear myself. Amazing what you hear when focused on particular segments of the music.

    This is also in part what we mean by "critical listening"....something we fail to do too often, including myself. Sorry for the slight derail, but worth taking note. Again, congrats on the new toy and enjoy the tunes. Looks like a keeper for you.
    My wife thinks I'm mental. I also think I'm mental. I study gear , cables at a level most are not will to. I'll spend a weekend testing on and off as I can ( other people live here). When I get the house to myself , I go into full testing mode. I never just listen to music when I'm in this mode, I study sound and the changes swapping out gear or cables do.
    Finally when I'm done with this intense testing , I take a break and then enjoy the system as it stands.
    I do however get very frustrated when I can't hear any differences. I try to set up my listening demos so I don't have to unplug and replug this or that so I can hear A and B right away. When I have to unplug and replug , I find it extremely hard to find the differences.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • pearsall001pearsall001 Posts: 4,333
    edited April 2014
    mantis wrote: »
    My wife thinks I'm mental. I also think I'm mental. I study gear , cables at a level most are not will to. I'll spend a weekend testing on and off as I can ( other people live here). When I get the house to myself , I go into full testing mode. I never just listen to music when I'm in this mode, I study sound and the changes swapping out gear or cables do.
    Finally when I'm done with this intense testing , I take a break and then enjoy the system as it stands.
    I do however get very frustrated when I can't hear any differences. I try to set up my listening demos so I don't have to unplug and replug this or that so I can hear A and B right away. When I have to unplug and replug , I find it extremely hard to find the differences.

    Dan, my good mam...your wife nailed it big time!!!! You're nuts, I'm nuts, Tony's nuts, hell we're all nuts. I'm just not as nutty as I used to be. To restore sanity I now make it a point that whatever the new gear is that I'm auditioning...whether it be cables, or electronics I am looking for a marked improvement in sound quality. No more of that incremental crap, it simply leaves too much to the placebo effect as far as I'm concerned. It doesn't have to be the WOW factor but if I don't hear a marked improvement without having to search for it, I deem the said item to be not worthy of admittance. Case in point, the TEAC UD-501 that replaced my CAL Alpha DAC, there wasn't the least bit of hesitation on my part to hear a tremendous difference in it's musical qualities, it literally hit me smack in the face. It left me no room whatsoever to second guess myself. I'm more interested in listening that critiquing now, I've replaced the word "Critical" with "Enjoyable" & it's restored my sanity & my enjoyment level is now off the charts.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    D>SONIC M2-600M mono's / mains
    Rotel RMB-1095 5 channel amp
    TEAC UD - 501 DAC
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS System
    KEF Q900 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Extensive room treatments
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,122
    edited April 2014
    Dan, my good mam...your wife nailed it big time!!!! You're nuts, I'm nuts, Tony's nuts, hell we're all nuts. I'm just not as nutty as I used to be. To restore sanity I now make it a point that whatever the new gear is that I'm auditioning...whether it be cables, or electronics I am looking for a marked improvement in sound quality. No more of that incremental crap, it simply leaves too much to the placebo effect as far as I'm concerned. It doesn't have to be the WOW factor but if I don't hear a marked improvement without having to search for it, I deem the said item to be not worthy of admittance. Case in point, the TEAC UD-501 that replaced my CAL Alpha DAC, there wasn't the least bit of hesitation on my part to hear a tremendous difference in it's musical qualities, it literally hit me smack in the face. It left me no room whatsoever to second guess myself. I'm more interested in listening that critiquing now, I've replaced the word "Critical" with "Enjoyable" & it's restored my sanity & my enjoyment level is now off the charts.
    Love it Phil !!
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,397
    edited April 2014
    Phil makes a good point, one I probably subscribe to myself. I usually don't invest in cables or other gear unless I'm pretty sure the improvements would be substantial. If I have to do some real critical listening to discern differences, then it wasn't money well spent.

    We spend a lot of time...and money chasing those smaller increments in increased SQ instead of saving a few more box tops for a piece that may move you up the ladder in bigger jumps. After all, as Phil stated, it's all about enjoying the music.
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,122
    So I broke this out of retirement. I sold my SC-99 awhile ago and picked up a Sony Flagship 5000es receiver so I can experience Dolby Vision and HDR 4k stuff. I got away from music for awhile focusing on 4k and Dolby Atmos which is another thing I upgraded to.
    But I was cleaning up in the basement and saw the NAD DAC sitting there not doing anything so I decided what the hell lets play. I connected it to my Sonos Connect for a change which I usually don't give a rats **** about other then playing music in the back ground or when we are entertaining and have the whole house music system on , I add the family Room to the Group and play that way. Thats usually the only time I use it.
    For the sheer hell of it I decided to connect it to the DAC and give it a shot. I used a nice pair of audioquest analog cables Red Rivers to the AVR and for the Sonos I used a Carbon Coax Digital cable.
    I sat down expecting nothing and listening to some iTunes stuff from my Laptop streaming to the Sonos over wifi and figured it would sound as it always does nice but nothing special. Well I was wrong. The DAC really cleaned up the signal and made it sound damn near as good as when I drop the actual CD in my OPPO 203 using it's internal DAC's. I was amazed how good the NAD DAC made the Sonos sound. This is something I never ever do because when I want to sit down and listen to music , I drop a disc into the OPPO or when I had the SC-99 I connected the USB( Carbon level) with a Jitterbug to my Laptop running high rez stuff. I did however rip some High Rez stuff to a Thumb drive and stuck it into the Oppo because I didn't feel like dragging out the NAD and connecting it to the system. I'm glad I did as I can really enjoy the Sonos Connect in this fashion.
    I really like this DAC and I'm a little sad I got away from listening to music. It's winter and I usually spend a bit more time with my system in the colder months and this is what I do every year. This time I'm using the DAC and for the first time since I sold the SC-99 I'm really loving listening to music again.

    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,122
    What a great DAC. So much pleasure just changing out the way your music is D to A converted. Theory says it should make o difference as long as it's done properly BUT this DAC is really nature sounding. I never ever just sit and listen to stuff streamed from Apple Music to my Sonos as listening material and now I'm questioning that decision. With this DAC it makes everything just sound clean and natural
    I'm gonna have to do a full A B comparison with the actual CD vs Apple Music over Sonos over the D1050 Dac and see how much I'm losing or not. Should be interesting and fun
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 4,448
    Looks like NAD still makes that dac. 4+ years and still running.
    Lumin D1,Wireworld Silver Eclipse, KEF LS50 Wireless, Velodyne SPL1200, Technics 1200, Denon DL160, Jolida D9,
    USB helpers: w4s Recovery
    Living Room Elite SC27, LSI25, SDA 3.1TL
    Have but haven't used in a while: LH Labs VI Dac, Cayin SCD50T

  • mantismantis Posts: 15,122
    It's a fantastic DAC my friend. I'm absolutely loving it all over again after all thee years later. Better in my system then collecting dust in the basement.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,397
    mantis wrote: »
    What a great DAC. So much pleasure just changing out the way your music is D to A converted. Theory says it should make o difference as long as it's done properly BUT this DAC is really nature sounding. I never ever just sit and listen to stuff streamed from Apple Music to my Sonos as listening material and now I'm questioning that decision. With this DAC it makes everything just sound clean and natural
    I'm gonna have to do a full A B comparison with the actual CD vs Apple Music over Sonos over the D1050 Dac and see how much I'm losing or not. Should be interesting and fun

    Good for you Dan, I've always said that Sonos needs a decent dac to sound CD compatible. It's all 1's and 0's though, right ? :)

    Enjoy

    BTW...what's that dac retail for these days ? Might be good for comparison sake, price to performance ratio and all that.
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,122
    tonyb wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    What a great DAC. So much pleasure just changing out the way your music is D to A converted. Theory says it should make o difference as long as it's done properly BUT this DAC is really nature sounding. I never ever just sit and listen to stuff streamed from Apple Music to my Sonos as listening material and now I'm questioning that decision. With this DAC it makes everything just sound clean and natural
    I'm gonna have to do a full A B comparison with the actual CD vs Apple Music over Sonos over the D1050 Dac and see how much I'm losing or not. Should be interesting and fun

    Good for you Dan, I've always said that Sonos needs a decent dac to sound CD compatible. It's all 1's and 0's though, right ? :)

    Enjoy

    BTW...what's that dac retail for these days ? Might be good for comparison sake, price to performance ratio and all that.
    Sonos depending on what you send to it content wise makes a huge difference. Believe it or not streaming 256k stuff from Apple Music sounded ok at best before the DAC. Then when I went Digital into the AVR it sounded better, then when I dusted off the NAD, It sounds even better. I'd say it's not CD quality as I compared a few tracks vs the Stream and the CD sounds more airy and complete where the 256k even with the DAC sounds slightly thinner. But if you where not paying attention it would be even closer. It's not night and day but enough to warrant sending full 16/44.1 stuff. I have full losseless files on my Computer and when I send them to Sonos it's sounds better then Apple Music. This is where the DAC shines even more and super comparable to the CD when using the Oppo 203.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
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