Let's Talk Digital

Music as represented in 1's and 0's. Discuss anything pertaining to D hardware - CD, DVD, SACD, DAC, etc.

Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Thu May 20, 2004 12:38 pm


Sorry misread your question on digital outputs the DENON 2200 has available DIGITAL outputs using OPTICAL and COAXIAL. The PIONEER players utilize the I-LINK interface from the universal player in tandem with the A/V Receiver such as the AX10ig.


Postby ARE » Thu May 20, 2004 5:31 pm


Thanks. I hope manufacturers offer off-board processing for DVD-A/SACD like Sony and Pioneer soon, and that they standardize on one link to do it. No sense having proprietary connections just to extract digital signals for DVD-A/SACD from source to receiver. Should be something like DVD-V.

Would the lower Pioneer models include the i-link as well? Have any idea how much these babies cost? Problem is, it wont be able to accept a non-i-link digital signal say from a marantz uni player, is that correct?
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Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Thu May 20, 2004 6:37 pm


The other's like Marantz et al will follow suit before the year end as they have already now employed THX ULTRA2 as Pioneer did on the AX10ig.

The I-link interface is present on the DV-S755ai DVD universl player I am using also on the AX-5ig AV Receiver which are not the top end models they have, we can wait awhile and I'm confident the I-LINK interface will be on the entry level units soon!


Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Thu May 20, 2004 8:34 pm

A feature story on the June 2004 edition of STEREOPHILE pp.59-63 talks about a man by the name of TOM JUNG.


Here are some excerpts of DIGITAL WISDOM in his interview with David Lander of STEREOPHILE:

David Lander
You convinced SANYO to manufacture jazz cd's for you in Japan back in 1983,whenthere were only about a hundred [CD releases]-and they were all classical-on the world market. Why did you take the trouble?

Because I'd spent so many years trying to get around ANALOG problems!
To me,the side effects of DIGITAL weren't as harmful. I could never get my head past all the NOISE and DISTORTIONS coming off the surface of the disc. God, it was always so hard to make something QUIET. Some people's brains allow them to create a filter and hear through this and just listen to the music. Nothing's perfect, but good or bad, I made a conscious decision to go DIGITAL and leave ANALOG behind. I jumped in with both feet and didn't look back. I had the idea that, as long as the end product was going to be DIGITAL, I might as well get into that WORLD as soon as possible.

So I was one of the first guys to take the output of every individual microphone and convert it to DIGITAL, then do all the mixing and mastering in the DIGITAL DOMAIN.


In 1977, Sound 80 was already recording in DIGITAL. Yours was the first studio to work with 3M's prototype digital recorder. Do you remember what you thought when you first heard it?

The thing that grabbed me in that first playback was the absence of WOW and FLUTTER. Most of the recordings we were doing included a piano, and getting a piano sound was always a real struggle. Doing it direct to disc or on DIGITAL tape, I could get closer to what I was after. And the NOISE floor was just a real shocker. Those two things won me over.

Let's take a break as we now look into Tom's views on DSD:


You first heard DSD very early on, at a by-invitation-only listening session at a Sony Music studio in New York City with three other recording engineers, Bob Ludwig, Bruce Swedien, and Michael Bishop from Telarc. tell us about it.

They had a jazz quartet setup on the studio, and David Smith, who is Sony's technical guru, had built a passive four-way switch that would allow us to listen to and switch between the live output of the mixing desk,conventional 16 bit digital, the latest and greatest 20 bit converter, and finally to DSD. The DSD WAS SO MUCH CLOSER TO THE LIVE SIGNAL than either PCM converter that it was OBVIOUS this was a direction I really wanted to pursue.

Do you feel DSD solves the problems inherent in PCM?

It does. I'm finding after all these years that, when I listen to an SACD, especially things that I record, where before I'd probably only listen from a quality perspective and not really be able to get into the music that much, [now] I'll listen to the whole thing. It draws you in, much like ANALOG did, but without the ANALOG problems.

Looking ahead at the foreseeable future of the music business, which clearly includes downloaded files, where in the jigsaw puzzle do you think SACD fits?

The majority of people out there feel the CD is justb fine. They put up with MP3 and think it's okay. So the bar is pretty low for Joe Consumer. But I think the hybrid disc makes a lot of sense. I have think that, at some point, people are going to realize there is better quality available. I do think some people are going to buy an SACD that they can play in their car and at home. If they have a home theater they can hear it in surround. there's so much data on that disc-and it's not copyable-that people will spend the money to buy it. IF YOU WANT TO BUILD A GREAT SOUNDING SYSTEM TO PLAY IT ON, YOU'LL BE ABLE TO REALIZE TREMENDOUS QUALITY AND TREMENDOUS ENTERTAINMENT VALUE.


Well dear readers to that SoFtCliPpEr, can say a resounding AMEN!

Postby mozilla » Fri May 21, 2004 7:27 am

See this:

A Spectral and Dynamics Comparison of Diana Krall's The Look of Love on CD, DVD-A and SACD

Part 1

Part 2
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Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Fri May 21, 2004 8:27 am

"Practically, however, this limitation of DSD will probably not be audibly significant as typical recordings do not have a wide "efffective" dynamic range and -62dB is below the noise floor of most listening rooms. However, it does signify that DSD is not as effective in capturing low level detail as some of its proponents may think." Christine Tham

Well the discovery is being contradicted by Ms.Tham`s own words. Since the "limitation" will probably not be AUDIBLY significant as typical recordings do not have a wide dynamic range and the so called -62db is below the noise floor of most listening rooms as she says..the relevance is therefore lacking of much importance.

One's total enjoyment of listening to Diana Krall's skills simply aren't critical in those regions anyway. Now on the perceived measurements that DSD is not as expected as one may believe in capturing low level detail is a common conclusion however highly subjective as well to every individual's tastes. Beside's nothing is perfect as TOM JUNG implied.


Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Fri May 21, 2004 9:00 am

Just ten years ago there was an incestful relationship between DIGITAL and TUBE gear if ever one ventured into it's integration. Times have changed however and today tube manufacturer's have begun to produce tube products to meet the rapidly increasing demand for DIGITAL audio.

Here's an interesting peek of such a product:


Jim Fosgate's Fosgate Audionics FAP V1 surround processor-preamplfier.

Fosgate, last year's awardee by the EMMY's Technology and Engineering body for his work on the development of surround sound for TV has come up with this 7.1-channel, tubed analog preamplifier.

Read all about this man's passion for music which led him to create and design this very revealing vacuum tube gear:

http://www.fosgateaudionics.com/newsrev ... e_emmy.asp


SoFtCliPpEr <---- say's Think DIGITAL :)

Postby alanranch » Sat May 22, 2004 12:55 am

Thanks Joey
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Location: down south

Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Sat May 22, 2004 7:56 pm

Talking about a product design which serves as a Jack of ALL Trade in features, one can't help but be awed by this performer from CAIRN. It made great waves during the recent Consumer Electronics Show last January, this is how it looks:


The CAIRN 4810 stereo amp is a dual-mono (10W class A and 100W class A/B) integrated amplifier with a retail price of $3,500. It's a real stunner, with it's blue display and flanking large symmetrical controls on the front panel.

Here's why they call it the MULTI-Solutions amp. The 4810 stereo amp can be transformed into a receiver, a DAC!, a video switcher, or a MCH controller..simply by plugging in MODULES at the back! Nothing was left out even a moving magnet and moving coil module can be accomodated for the benefit of analog lovers who wants their High Resolution sounds SACD/DVD-A as well.

A happy compromise indeed here's a picture of the 4810's back panel:


FUTURE PROOF products is the name of the game..all these and more innovations to come as DIGITAL audio remains in the forefront of technology in the goal to musical perfection!

The FUTURE is in TODAY..not in YESTERDAY! :)

Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Sun May 23, 2004 10:20 am


Here are some HOT news from day 1 of the HOME ENTERTAINMENT 2004, covered by WES PHILLIPS for STEREOPHILE:


Home Entertainment 2004—Day One
By Wes Phillips

May 20, 2004 — Today marked the opening of Home Entertainment 2004 East, held at Manhattan's Hilton Hotel on 6th Avenue in Midtown. By long tradition, the first press conference in The Home Entertainment Show's busy press day has always been occupied by Sony and this year was no different. As we entered the Sony Suite, we were greeted by a wall display of over 2000 SACD titles—surely enough to be considered a down-payment on the critical mass that will be necessary for any high-rez format to survive. But any hopes that Sony would address SACD were quickly dashed in the press conference itself, which was primarily devoted to news of Sony's new broadband "location free" video systems, which allow consumers to carry 12.1" or 7" LCD video tablets anywhere they might wish to access their home-entertainment options. The data transfer is accomplished through the dual-band IEEE 802.11a/11g protocol. The 12" LF-X1 will retail for $1500 and the 7" widescreen LF-X5 will go for $1000.

And, yes, in case anyone is curious, Sony did mention SACD, although no specific plans were described.

Monster Cable announced an ambitious program to educate consumers about the advantages of high-end audio and video equipment. Charismatic head Monster Noel Lee gave a stump burner of a speech in which he blamed the high-end industry for failing to persuade the general public about the rewards of high-quality music and sound. Singling out the complexity and clunkiness of the typical sales experience, he asked rhetorically, "Can we make the process any more difficult for the consumer?"

The answer, Lee maintains, is emulating the success of the "Rooms to Go" store model. In which systems are set up intact and all consumers have to do is to identify their needs and then have a solution demonstrated to them. Lee pointed out that most audio consumers never even get the chance to experience SACD or DVD-A sound, despite the audible superiority of both formats over Red Book CDs—and that many families never get a surround-sound gaming demo, which would turn young gamers into instant audio fans.

Monster's High-End Home Theater and Music Demonstration Experience will debut at specially trained Monster dealers later this summer.

Lee also blamed the "bigger is better" décor-unfriendly attitude of most manufacturers for A/V's slipping popularity; he has embarked on a program of Monster M-Design products—ranging from line-source loudspeakers to hand-rubbed lacquer audio furniture and matching subwoofers. "Let's make the speakers disappear," Lee chortled.

Monstrous Speaker systems include the Eleganza StreamlineLine Tower Speaker System. Which use a line array of up to 40 drivers in 5', 6', and 7' towers (prices range from $4499.95/pair to $5995.95/pair). Eleganza also includes a center channel ($1499.95), surrounds ($999.95/pair), and InvisiSound Frames (speakers designed to compliment flatscreen video displays). Prices for the InvisiSound line range from $3999.95/pair to $6999.95/pair.

But it was obvious that Lee was proudest of the Eleganza subwoofers, which are designed to fit in corners (both left and right facing versions are available). The Godfather features a 15" driver and a 100W amplifier, the Bella has a 12" cone and a 500W amp, and the StreamLine Bass Modules (which attach to the Tower Speaker System) drive a 10" ultra-rigid aluminum cone with a 250W amp. There's even a component rack with "invisible" subwoofers: two 10" drivers driven by 250Wpc amplifiers.

Microsoft's Pat Griffis, vice-chairman of the Digital Home Working Group (DHWG), gave the keynote address at this year's Press Luncheon. The DHWG is a cross-industry consortium of technology leaders advocating interoperability and open, fair standard that will allow consumers to integrate all the digital media in their homes—such as broadband, broadcast, mobile multimedia, and traditional media. Griffis pointed out that there is a good news/bad news" scenario: "We have lots of standards, but we also have needless differentiations with competitive advantage."

The DHWG's brief is to ensure that all the consumer needs to do is choose his entertainment format without worrying bout how it will work, while also assuring the big media corporations that their intellectual property will be maintained. Griffiths reported that both goals seem within reach.

VTL's Luke Manley showed a production model of his "Son of Siegfried" S400 400Wpc stereo amplifier—and it was even better-sounding than the concept piece he demonstrated at CES2004. His aim was to "engineer out the drawbacks of tubes, while preserving what they do best—like voltage amplification." The S400 has an RS232 control port and user adjustable phase inversion, not to mention VTL's usual parlor trick of triode/pentode operation, the changeover initiated by a button push but then under the control of the amplifier's microprocessor, which adjusts all the necessary operating parameters.


We were fascinated by a demonstration of the last feature. We listened to the Tomasz Stanko Quartet's Suspended Night, first with pentode operation, then with triode. Pentode mode was more dynamic and forceful, but there was an undeniable "rightness" to the triode mode. The midrange was rounder and fuller-bodied and the timbre was far more natural. What has sounded like a buzzing snare drum in pentode was clearly revealed to be breath spillage from Stanko's embouchure in triode. Manley pointed out, however, that for big orchestral works and rampaging jazz bands, pentode was frequently the right "horse for the course."

Choice is good.

Jim Thiel has been obsessing over bass. He tantalized the assembled press with three bass tools that were, as always with Thiel, different and impressive.


Thiel introduced a passive two-channel PX02 crossover ($350). The PX02 comes in different models, each designed to integrate a different Thiel loudspeaker with the company's SW1 subwoofer. The demo which used a pair of CS 7.2s was absolutely convincing: bass was integrated and global, we heard nothing from the subwoofer off to the side—all the music came from the soundstage in front of us. Thiel also has developed a 5.1 version called the PX05 ($500).

However, it was the Thiel Integrator ($4400) that had us all going "wow!" The Integrator is a microprocessor-based active crossover that can analyze the characteristics of any loudspeaker it is paired with to control high- and low-pass filters and seamlessly integrate speaker to subwoofer for "one-speaker" response. The Integrator is RS232 controllable, accommodates balanced and single-ended signals, allows up to six preset contours, and is remote-capable.

But wait, there's more!

Thiel also introduced a new wall-mounted loudspeaker called the Viewpoint ($1990/each), designed to compliment (you guessed it) flat-panel video displays. Housed in extruded, anodized aluminum cabinets (manufactured to match the customer's video display), the Viewpoint mounts its concentric driver on an angled baffle in order to eliminate "rear-wall bounce." Thiel cited the 60Hz -3dB down point, but said that, thanks to boundary reinforcement, it was subjectively lower.

An intriguing product—but we'd already told you it was a Jim Thiel design, hadn't we?


Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Mon May 24, 2004 3:27 pm

Everybody has been talking about High resolution Digital Audio SACD/DVD-A. However just how much does the average JOE CONSUMER know about it?

For an in-depth look into High Resolution Digital Audio visit this cool site:

http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/index. ... cle&sid=78


Here are some latest news on SACD!!

EMM Labs Ships 4th Generation Meitner DSD Converters
EMM Labs is now shipping their 4th Generation ADC8 Mk IV and DAC8 Mk IV DSD Converters. These converters perform Analog to Digital and Digital to Analog DSD processing for recording and mastering studio use. Designed by EMM Labs President Ed Meitner, these new converters are said to "meet the highest standards in professional audio recording applications".

According to Ed Meitner, the new 4th Generation DSD converters offer several advantages over their predecessors. The sound of the new converters is improved over prior versions and they have been very well received by the recording community. The front panel of each unit have added switching for easier access to key features. Also new to the ADC8 Mk IV Analog to Digital Converter are several modes that were previously available only on the DAC Digital to Analog Converter including 128fs DSD and PCM to DSD upsampling.

The new converters offer conversion between digital audio of various different formats and analog, as well as conversion between digital audio formats. Some of the features include:

ADC8 Mk IV Analog to Digital Converter Features
8-channel conversions:

from analog to PCM (16/24 bits selectable and 44.1kHz - 96kHz)

from analog to DSD

from DSD to PCM (44.1kHz - 16/24 bits selectable)

from DSD on optical to DSD on BNC connectors

from DSD on BNC to DSD on optical connectors

Supported output formats:

AES/EBU (4 connectors) for PCM

“RAW DSD” (legacy format for DSD on BNC conectors)

SDIF-3 for DSD on BNC connectors

SDIF-2 for PCM on BNC connectors

ST Fiber optic for DSD

Supported input formats:

Balanced analog 8dbu - 32dbu (pin 2 hot), switchable ranges 8dbu-20dbu /
20dbu - 32 dbu

“RAW DSD” (legacy format for DSD on BNC conectors)

SDIF-3 for DSD on BNC connectors

ST Fiber optic for DSD


power supply

power factor corrected

auto ranging 85V - 240V, 50/60Hz

power consumption: 60W

Analog input impedances:

in HI gain position: 30k Ohm balanced, 15k Ohm unbalanced

in LO gain position: 68k Ohm balanced, 34k Ohm unbalanced



DAC8 Mk IV Digital to Analog Converter Features:
8-channel conversions:

from PCM (44.1kHz - 96kHz) to analog

from DSD to analog

from PCM (44.1kHz, 88.2kHz) to DSD

from DSD on optical to DSD on BNC connectors

from DSD on BNC to DSD on optical connectors

from PCM on AES/EBU to PCM (SDIF-2)

Supported input formats:

AES/EBU (4 connectors) for PCM

“RAW DSD” (legacy format for DSD on BNC conectors)

SDIF-3 for DSD on BNC connectors

SDIF-2 for PCM on BNC connectors

ST Fiber optic for DSD

Supported output formats:

Balanced analog 14dbu - 24dbu (pin 2 hot)

“RAW DSD” (legacy format for DSD on BNC conectors)

SDIF-3 for DSD on BNC connectors

SDIF-2 for PCM on BNC connectors

Other features:

power supply

power factor corrected

auto ranging 85V - 240V, 50/60Hz

power consumption: 60W

Analog output impedances

100 Ohm balanced, 50 Ohm unbalanced

Customers With EMM Labs Converters
Previous versions of the EMM Labs DSD converters have proven to be quite popular and are in wide use throughout the recording industry. According to EMM Labs, some of the recording studios that have the Meitner DSD converters include:

Acoustic Sounds

Airshow Mastering

Ambient Studios

Artegra Records

Audioquest Music

Bernie Grundman Mastering


Bruce Botnick Productions

Buzz Records

Chesky Records

Challenge Records



Disques Lyrinx

DMP Records




Gateway Mastering

Groove Note Records

James Guthrie Studios



Linn Records

Octavia Records

Opus 3 Records

Right Track Recording

Sony Music Studios

Sterling Mastering Studios

Steve Marcussen Mastering

Stevie Wonder's Wonderland Studios

Telarc Records

Universal Music Mastering

Virgin Records

The 4th Generation Meitner ADC8 Mk IV and DAC8 Mk IV DSD Converters are available directly from EMM Labs. Sales to accounts in Asia are handled by Canada Pro Media. The price for each unit is $6,500 which is the same price as their 3rd Generation predecessors. The converters can also be rented from DMT Rentals.


The next time you buy a CD think about the new things in store for you if you buy an SACD disc instead. With all the well known recording companies now using the ADC8 MK IV don't you think it's high time to build up for the future?

With DIGITAL the future is yours TODAY! :)

Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Mon May 24, 2004 8:30 pm


There really is no stopping High Resolution SACD from taking the lead on the format wars as new SACD players, Universal players and above all MORE MORE MORE SACD titles 2,000 as of latest count are coming out as the recent events in the HE 2004 showcases:

HE 2004: Sony Delivers Super Audio CD Progress Report
HE 2004: Officials from Sony's Super Audio CD Project used this week's Home Entertainment 2004 event to provide an update on the format's progress to date. Included in the update was news of some key upcoming SACD titles slated for release later this year and some new SACD hardware announcements.

Sales of SACD Albums
As evidence of the continuing strong sales of the SACD format, Sony cited the Rolling Stones Remastered Series (over 2.2 Million units sold) and the recent Sam Cooke Remastered Series (300,000 units sold) on ABKCO Records as well as the 30th Anniversary Edition of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon from EMI/Capitol Records which is now at 800,000 units sold.

Also cited was the recently announced RIAA report by Price Waterhouse Coopers which shows over 1.3 million Super Audio CDs shipped in the U.S. market during 2003. High Fidelity Review readers will remember our recent article on this study and a second RIAA study of consumer impressions of music formats purchased. The units shipped study showed SACDs outpacing DVD-A units shipped by a large margin, while the consumer phone survey showed that consumers said they purchased more music on DVD Audio discs than any other format besides the Compact Disc (see link below).

In terms of releases, the SACD Project officals report that there are now over 2,000 Super Audio CDs on the market worldwide (almost half of which are reported to be Surround Sound SACDs) and that there are an additional 100 SACDs per month now being released each month. The SACD Progress Report cites upcoming titles from labels including Artemis Classics, Audio Fidelity, Chandos, Chesky, Concord, Domo, Groove Note, Harmonia Mundi, First Impression Music, Fantasy, Koch Records, Mobile Fidelity, PentaTone Classics, Songlines, Rounder, and Telarc as evidence of continued interest in the format, particularly in the audiophile, classical and jazz markets which continue to make up the core of the SACD catalog.

ABKCO Records Announces Surround Sound SACDs from the Animals & Herman's Hermits
Since their success with the Rolling Stones Remastered Series, ABKCO Records officials indicate that they planned to continue to remaster and reissue the balance of their key catalog albums in Hybrid SACD format. At HE 2004, ABKCO made good on that promise by announcing plans to release "Greatest Hits" albums by both the Animals and Herman's Hermits as 5.1 Hybrid Surround Sound SACDs due out in mid summer.

The announcement of the Animals and Herman's Hermits titles was a bit of a surprise since most of the buzz in the industry has been on rumors of ABKCO's remastering of some of their Cameo/Parkway catalog titles for release on Hybrid SACD discs. In fact, one web site even carried an interview with the person preumably selected by ABKCO to do the liner notes for this series. (I guess we'll have to wait a bit longer to see if the Cameo/Parkway SACDs from ABKCO might be the next out of the gate after the Animals and Herman's Hermits SACDs.)

Additional SACDs Coming from Sony Music
Another key bit of news in the SACD Update from HE 2004 concerned Sony Music and their SACD plans. It was noted that the most recent Sony Music Surround SACDs have included the Bob Dylan Remastered Series, two catalog SACDs from James Taylor (Dad Loves His Work and Flag) as well as more recent titles from Barbra Streisand (The Movie Album), The Thorns (The Thorns) and David Bowie (Reality).

According to officials at the SACD Project, the people in the Dylan camp have been "very pleased" with the success of the Dylan Remastered Series and have green lighted the release of several more Super Audio CDs from Dylan's catalog. In addition to the additional Dylan titles, Sony Music has also indicated plans to release SACDs by the Indigo Girls and David Sanchez.

Universal Music Group & the Moody Blues
Last week, the Universal Music Group released Sting's Brand New Day on Surround SACD (after prior releases as a DTS 5.1 Music Disc and a DVD-A disc) as well as 4 classical music titles. They also announced plans for 12 more Classical Music SACDs, many of which will be arriving in August.

While this news was mentioned at HE 2004, the really big news this week about Universal Music's SACD plans actually came from the www.moodies-magazine.com web site that covers the Moody Blues. The web site contains extensive quotes from Andy Street, who works in Universal Music UK's catalog development operation. Street indicates that the Moody Blues SACDs will feature 5.1 Surround Sound mixes adapted from the group's original Quadraphonic mixes of the 1970's and that the series will also include some bonus tracks and previously unreleased songs as well. According to the article, the Moody Blues SACDs will arrive in stores in September. There has been no word from Universal Music in the U.S. about this, but we will certainly keep an eye out for these SACDs as the Fall approaches.

Koch Records Plans 13 Kinks Remastered SACDs
We also learned that Koch Records and their Velvel Records label plan to release 13 of the classic albums by the Kinks on Super Audio CD in the fall. Koch acquired rights to the Kinks material through a purchase of Velvel Records several years ago from former CBS Records chief Walter Yetnikoff.

Koch initially licensed SACD rights to some of the Kinks albums to the Mobile Fidelity label which happens to be distributed to record stores by Koch. Following the lead of labels such as Fantasy and Concord Jazz, Koch has now also elected to issue their own SACDs rather than licensing their catalog material through another label such as Mobile Fidelity.

While we don't have firm release dates for all 13 of the Kinks SACDs, Koch has announced that the first 5 Super Audio CDs in the series will be available in stores on August 24th. These titles will be:

The Kinks - Muswell Hillhillies (Velvel Records VEL-SC-79801)

The Kinks - Misfits (Velvel Records VEL-SC-79802)

The Kinks - One For The Road (Velvel Records VEL-SC-79803)

The Kinks - Give The People What They Want (Velvel Records VEL-SC-79804)

The Kinks - Schoolboys In Disgrace (Velvel Records VEL-SC-79805)

More SACD Players on the Market
The SACD progress report also talks about additional SACD players coming to market. This includes a new high end SACD player from Cary Audio along with recent entries by TEAC Esoteric and Goldmund in the high end market. The report says there are now 26 audio firms "offering more than 118 Super Audio CD compatible products".

At HE 2004, Sony Electronics announced the DAV-LF1, the first in their new "Platinum Series" of the DVD Dream System home theater in a box products. The new product will feature thin front and back wireless speakers designed for wall placement and a DVD Video/CD Audio/Surround Sound Super Audio CD player. The DAV-LF1 is scheduled to be available in September for "around $2,000".

The Sony Electronics announcement follows an earlier product announcement in March where they discussed plans to add 2 Surround Sound SACD/CD players (the SCD-CD595 at $149 and the SCDC-2000ES at $399) and 3 Surround Sound SACD/DVD Video/CD players (the DVP-N577SD at $130, the DVP-NC875 at $150 and the DVD-NS975V at $300) to their product line-up this fall. All but two of these planned players (the SCD-CD595 and the DVP-NC875) are single disc players - the other two are 5 disc SACD changers.

Also coming to market in the weeks ahead are the first Universal DVD Video/Super Audio CD/DVD Audio players from Toshiba. The players will offer both Surround Sound SACD and Surround Sound DVD-A playback, moving away from Toshiba's previous stance of making DVD-A only players. The new players will include a single disc model: the SD-4960 at $179 as well as a 5 disc changer, the SD-6915, which will sell for $249.


Prices for SACD stand alone units are getting more and more budget friendly! :)

Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Tue May 25, 2004 10:30 am

Indeed with the advent of these budget priced SACD/DVD players from Sony and soon to proliferate the Asian market by December there can only be one way to go DIGITAL.

I was at a friend's house and was being offered to consider the goldring turntable for my setup recently. It was a fine looking piece of analog gear the offer included an arm and a mm cartridge to go.

The goldring looked very much a clone of my REGA PLANAR 3 I used to have except it had a plinth platter and an RB250 arm if I wasn't mistaken. The demo record which was sealed and opened was a selection of songs from SNOW.

I won't say what the electronics were but I can do say it was top notch including the speaker cables and matching interconnects. The only thing I noticed was the radioshack like turntable connectors from the goldring and it's el cheapo looking rca jacks that goes into your amp.

We sat down to the business of listening. My host did the honors of cueing in the record and slowly as the needle settled moved up the volume for very obvious reason hehe. I tried my very best to be still and activate my built in faculties to ignore what I was hearing however not even half way through the first cut my brain automatically rejected the sound being reproduced!

I kept still and quiet throughout the demo making sure I would not show offense to my gracious host for his efforts for me to reconsider my options on analog. He soon got on to my displeasure due to the absence of any verbal confirmation of praise and suggested we try another record. Gee things were really getting excruciating for me but I had to be polite.

Thus there I sat listening to the analog goldring turntable with Kenny Rogers doing his thing.
It was a most painful experience I have ever felt..very similar to the day I quit smoking and tried again after so long.

After that my host said well maybe we need to upgrade the cartridge to make it sound better.
I couldn't comment and just remained my quiet self. Then my host decided since we are here why don't we try my new ARCAM CD73T it has a Wolfson chip to go better than the Burr Browns they say. These suggestion were like cool water to me in the Sahara desert.

We played a similar recording of SNOW. My satisfaction was complete..gone was the surface noise and vinyl static which almost made me go crazy on the goldring. However much to my surprise my host suddenly said..Joey mas malinis ano kesa kanina to which I gave an approving nod. I asked him diba mas maganda at masarap pakinggan? He of course agreed.

To sum up the experience I turned out buying another CD player for my personal use.
Analog may have it's peaks but maybe that was yesterday besides the vinyl isn't as easy to get brand new and sealed as the DIGITAL SACD/DVD/DVD-A/ software are. All this tucked in my mind gave me that feeling of assurance that truly DIGITAL is here to stay.



All views and opinions stated above are solely from SoFtCliPpEr and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of any other WiredState member.

Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Wed May 26, 2004 10:59 pm


Locate at the 2nd level Greenbelt 4

For all you SACD/CD/DVD and even VINYL enthusiasts this store has it!

They offer a wide range of SACD/CD titles from A-Z at very reasonable and low prices. Check it out hybrid SACD's are available at 1K up plus great SACD recordings from MO-FI as well.

See you all there :)

ASTROVISION also has a wide variety of SACD titles from Chesky noteworthy are Rebecca pidgeon and Ana Caram favorites also at 1K up.


Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Thu May 27, 2004 9:51 am

Do you want your friends to say "I GOTTA HAVE THAT!", when they hear your multi-channel surround sound set-up? Then let's get some very informative tips from the man who is an authority on the subject:


Michael Bishop, recording engineer and producer, has been engineering award-winning recordings for more than 25 years. Recipient of the Best Surround Mix: Orchestral award at the recent 2002 Surround Music Awards, Michael also won the Grammy® Award for Best-Engineered Classical Recording in 1997 and 2002, and has received additional Grammy nominations in 1996, 1999, 2000, and 2002. As part of the engineering and production team at Telarc Records, Michael has recorded many major orchestral, jazz, blues, and pop recordings. Additionally, Michael’s sound effects recordings and production helped Peter Schickele (PDQ Bach) earn a record-setting four consecutive Grammy® Awards. Michael has also earned a biographical listing in the Marquis Publications Who’s Who in Entertainment and Who’s Who in Music.

Here are some set-up tips Michael Bishop recommends good luck!





Michael Bishop, recording engineer

copyright 2000, All Rights Reserved

Revision Copyright 2003

Surround cinema and music playback at home is a relatively new concept, so not surprisingly, there are many variations of speaker setup possible. Discrete surround is most often known as "5.1", which refers to five main channels representing (usually) left-front, center-front, right-front, right-rear, and left-rear. The ".1" refers to the 6th channel which, particularly in cinema use, is a bandwidth-limited track of low-frequency information only.

The two most often used speaker setups for home surround playback are:

Dipole Surrounds: In the THX® format, the surround speakers are dipoles (speakers firing front and back) located on the side walls to the left and right of the listener. THX® feels this arrangement simulates the commercial cinema experience in which there are several monopole surrounds distributed on the rear and side walls. This setup is fine if you are only watching videos on your home theater system - but may not be satisfactory for music listening. Dipole surround speakers can give a very diffuse (indistinct) picture of the surround information in the recording. This works well for the occasional cinema sound effects and ambience present in videos & DVDs, but that diffuse character may destroy the directionality and individual mix components that would be present in a music-only surround recording. I have successfully used dipoles in a surround monitoring setup, but getting "focus" with them is difficult and requires very careful placement and consideration of wall treatments.

Matching Surrounds: In 1994, the International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, Switzerland, published their BS 775-1 recommendation for multi-channel sound systems with and without picture. In this setup, all loudspeakers are front-firing only (unidirectional) and equidistant from the listener and lie on a circle with the listener at the center. The left/right front speakers are 60° apart and 30° from the forward direction. The left/right surround speakers are 140° apart and lie 110° from the listener's position. I use a variation of the ITU setup in my surround speaker setup for recording session monitoring.

Setup Details:
To achieve the best surround performance from music sources, I suggest you start with a minimum of four matched loudspeakers: one pair for the front left and right positions and one pair for the surround left and right positions. A center channel loudspeaker that at the minimum matches the timbre and character of the front loudspeaker pair should be included. Further, the center loudspeaker should be recessed in its physical position relative to the front left and right loudspeakers so as to create an arc across the front plane. This helps to eliminate center channel build up that can smear the depth and separation of the left-right front image. In session monitoring, I always use a center speaker that is identical to the other main speakers as I'll often place important music information there. Typical cinema use of the center channel is for dialog only. Music surround mixing will often place lead vocals, solo instruments, and bass & percussion in the center channel. That use places more demand on the center channel speaker and amplifier than cinema audio mixes, so don't short-change the importance of a good center channel!

During the recording session, all balance, ambient space, and source placement was determined on a carefully set-up and aligned 6-channel loudspeaker monitor system. In my opinion, unless dealing with a difficult playback room, one should not add artificial reverberation or ambience to a well-mixed existing recording. So that you might approximate the original performance or recording experience within your own listening environment, it is important that you know under what conditions the original recording was monitored.


I use four or five matched full-range loudspeakers with equal amplification for each channel, including surrounds. They may have been nearfield or midfield monitors, depending upon the size of the recording studio control room. Surround speakers were never placed on the side walls. Dipole loudspeakers were never employed during the source sessions. Direct-radiating loudspeakers were used all around to best represent important musical information present on all five main channels. A low-distortion, servo-driven sub-woofer was employed in monitoring the ".1" channel. The subwoofer was located to the front of the mix position and placed for most even bass response in the room, away from corners or close walls. Stereo subwoofers can give the best possible results.

Generally, the front left/right loudspeakers are set between 30° and 20° from center. Each front speaker is angled to focus at a point about 12" behind the listener’s head, or just off each ear. The left/right surround or rear speakers are each located at about 125° from center, thus putting them just behind and to the sides of the listener. The matched center loudspeaker occupies a recessed location center-front, forming an arc across the front plane. The engineer/mixer position is then same distance from ALL loudspeaker locations. If the playback system maintains phase and frequency coherence between all five main channels, one may enjoy a multi-channel music surround playback from many different listening positions, even outside of the direct soundfield reproducing space!

The ". I" channel in a 5.1 or 6-channel mix refers to LFE (low frequency effects) that are most often employed by motion picture soundtrack producers in order to emphasize explosions or effects. This sixth channel may or may not be present on a particular release. Your surround receiver or preamplifier may have "Bass Management". This circuit, when used with main speakers of limited bass response (as in satellite + sub-woofer systems), shifts the low frequencies from the main channels to the sub-woofer channel. If you are using five full-range loudspeakers, it is recommended you disable "Bass Management" and set the subwoofer level and response to best suit your listening room. An alternative setting is to set Bass Management to "large speaker" or full-range performance for all channels.

In some cases, neither the center nor ".1" channels are used in a particular recording. The selection of the number of channels to be employed in a recording, whether it be 4, 5 or 5.1 (6), is determined by the needs of the music, and the creative decisions of the artist and/or recording team. I have been experimenting with using the LFE track as a combined Height Channel/LFE track, which was the subject my article in Surround Professional (Sept. 2002), "New Heights in Surround." For details on Height Channel/LFE setup and usage, CLICK HERE.

Ideally, you'll want to use a setup and alignment SACD or DVD-A disc to align the playback system performance. This disc should have, at minimum, pink noise tracks for each individual channel, with channel identifying markers. (some Telarc SACD and DVD-A releases include an alignment section after the main surround program.) Disable any reverberation, ambience, or hall programs in your surround receiver. Use a level meter such as the commonly available Radio Shack model, set to C-weighted, slow response. Measuring each main loudspeaker cabinet individually and from the center of the listening space, set the playback level of each channel to be of equal volume. The bass response of many listening rooms is unpredictable, so aligning the sub-woofer level can be difficult. We monitored the recording with the sub-woofer roll-off set to 50 Hz and set at 8-10 dB higher than the main channels. You may want to set the sub-woofer level by ear to suit your particular situation.

This setup procedure may seem like a great deal of trouble to you - I can assure you it will be worth the effort! I guarantee that hearing a great surround music mix on a well-balanced system will put the excitement back in your music listening. You'll hear elements you never knew existed, even in old familiar recordings that are remixed for surround. Your friends, when they hear your system will say, "I gotta have that!".


Try it you have nothing to lose :)

Postby av_phile » Thu May 27, 2004 12:38 pm

SoFtCliPpEr wrote:

it is important that you know under what conditions the original recording was monitored.

I've always wanted to know this in each album I play. Unfortunately, very few discs describe those conditions under which the recording was made. And I strongly doubt if many listeners would care about it.
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Postby iceman90a » Thu May 27, 2004 1:28 pm

i might have missed it - but should all speakers be at the same height? and is that tweeter at ear level?

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Postby dogears » Thu May 27, 2004 1:35 pm

I believe that is the same setup being utilized by widescreenreview - with stereo subwoofers - its the best way to go :D
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Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Fri May 28, 2004 9:23 pm



Her is the latest DIGITAL developments by PHILLIPS which will usher in the flooding of SACD titles in the very near future. For FUTURE PROOF investments in audio this latest tool will guarantee the availability of SACD software for good. Read all about it.

Philips Announces ProTools DSD Plug-In & SACD Creation Tools
Philips has announced the availability of a new Plug-In for the popular ProTools Digital Audio Workstation that will enable ProTools users to create multichannel DSD audio files on ProTools workstations and systems. In addition to the new DSD ProTools plug-in, Philips is also offering a standalone software program called SA-CD Creator and an SA-CD Creator Pack which includes both products.

According to officials at Philips, these new DSD production tools are designed to speed the creation of SACD disc images and cutting masters, thereby bringing more Super Audio CD discs to market in the near future. All three of these products will be available through the Philips ProTech group shortly.

New DSD Plug-In for ProTools
The new DSD plug-in developed by Philips ProTech works on the Digidesign Pro Tools LE and TDM systems. At this time, the plug-in is only available for systems running on the Windows platform. The plug-in converts PCM audio (2, 5 or 6 channels) to a Direct Stream Digital (DSD) file. The plug-in also includes a DST compression ratio estimator to estimate the size of the audio file's disc image on an SACD disc. (DST is the lossless packing technology developed by Philips that is used in the SACD production process).

SA-CD Creator Software
Philips is also offering a product named SA-CD creator which takes DSD files (created from the Philips DSD PlugIn for ProTools LE/TD for Windows, the Philips Audio Format Converter software program, a DSD audio workstation or a DSD file from a hardware DSD converter) and enables the user to convert that file to "a complete verified SA-CD disc image". Key features of the SA-CD Creator software include:

Audio Level Metering of the DSD file according to Annex D&E of the Scarlet Book standard for SA-CD

DSD to DST encoding (lossless data compression)

SA-CD authoring

Logical verification of the SA-CD disc image

A playback feature which enables listening to the DSD data or SA-CD disc image, and the display of SA-CD text

Integrated tape writing functionality to allow distribution of the SA-CD disc image on tape

An intuitive user interface

SA-CD text input via an input file or the embedded SA-CD text editor

Playback via a dedicated hardware PCI card with 6-channel SDIF outputs, to enable the user to connect their own preferred D/A converter equipment

Result logging for later reference

The Philips SA-CD Creator Pack
In addition to the SA-CD Creator software for Windows, Philips is also making available a new SA-CD Creator Pack. This product consists of the Philips SA-CD Creator and the Philips DSD ProTools Plug-In in one package. Philips refers to the new Creator Pack as "a complete software solution for the creation of Super Audio CD Disc Images/Cutting Masters for Pro Tools users."

Comments on the New Products
Jos Bruins, Director of Marketing at Philips Intellectual Property & Standards said that "We expect the SA-CD Creator Pack to be welcomed by the many music studios which are currently preparing their titles for release on SA-CD. We have deliberately focused this solution on Digidesign’s Pro Tools workstations because of their leadership and market position. Now, the combination of Pro Tools with our SA-CD Creator gives studios an affordable, end-to-end solution that provides full in-house control of the process of creating SA-CD disc images and cutting masters."

Ed Gray, Digidesign Director of Partnering Programs notd that "We aim to give our customers fully featured audio production solutions with our Pro Tools LE and HD products. With its outstanding sound quality and realism, Super Audio CD is an extremely valuable complement to Pro Tools. The availability of the specific DSD output plug–in shows Philips’ commitment in bringing a powerful SA-CD authoring and mastering capability to the music production studios community where Pro Tools has a large and growing base of creative users."

According to Philips, the new products will be available on June 1st. Pricing of the new products in Euros, excluding VAT and including shipping costs are as follows:

DSD Plug-in for ProTools for Windows (999 Euro)

SA-CD Creator (8,995 Euro)

SA-CD Creator Pack (DSD Plug-in + SA-CD Creator) (9,799 Euro)

Additional DSD plugins on top of SA-CD Creator Pack (299 Euro)

Additional DSD & SACD Tools from the Philips ProTech Group
To provide DSD & SACD technology and tools to the recording industry, Philips formed the ProTech Group last October headed up by SACD Project veteran Petra Smits. ProTech is made up of members of the Philips Intellectual Property & Standards (IP&S) group that license CD and SACD technologies to the industry as well as staff from the Philips Digital System Labs (PDSL) which handles development for both Philips Consumer Electronics and Philips Semiconductors.

ProTech's mission is to provide assistance and support to hardware companies that want to integrate DSD and SACD technology into their professional recording studio equipment. The ProTech group also provides finished software for use by record labels and recording studios as well. Some of the products the group now makes available to the industry (in addition to the DSD Plug-In, SA-CD Creator and SA-CD Creator Pack) include:

Software Modules

Super Audio Disc Image Reading Component

Super Audio Disc Builder Component

Super Audio Disc Image Verifier Component

Other DSD & SACD Products

Audio Format Converter Application

Super Audio Verifier PCI Card

DST Encoder for Windows

Super Author for Windows

Super Audio CD Verifier for Windows

http://www.superaudiocd.philips.com/Inf ... N3433A3694

Yes DIGITAL SACD is rapidly developing with each passing day. The question is are you ready for it when the time comes? Get involved now!!


Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Sat May 29, 2004 7:40 pm

Image Image

What`s the real score in the format wars in terms of worldwide sales?
Here are some hard facts from the RECORD INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA as a guide in considering your gear format and future software of choice:

RIAA Studies: SACD Leads In Shipments, DVD-A In Awareness
Two recent RIAA studies show that both the SACD and DVD-A formats are making strides and face some challenges ahead. The studies involve a tally of unit shipments (net after returns) during the year 2003 from record labels in the U.S. and a monthly phone survey of U.S. consumers about their buying habits and awareness of music formats. Here's a look what the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) found in the two high resolution audio formats.

SACD Tops DVD Audio In Unit Shipments During 2003
The first of the new RIAA studies covers unit shipments of music and the dollar value of these music discs (net after returns) during the year 2003. This study is conducted each year for the RIAA by the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse Coopers.

In the study's review of high resolution audio disc shipments, the 2003 Unit study shows:

DVD Audio Unit Shipments

2001 - 0.3 Million copies and $6.0 Million in dollar value

2002 - 0.4 Million copies and $8.5 Million in dollar value

2003 - 0.4 Million copies and $8.0 Million in dollar value

Super Audio CD Unit Shipments

2003 - 1.3 Million copies and $26.3 Million in dollar value

Vinyl LP Unit Shipments

2001 - 2.3 Million copies and $27.4 Million in dollar value

2002 - 1.7 Million copies and $20.5 Million in dollar value

2003 - 1.5 Million copies and $21.7 Million in dollar value

Compact Disc Unit Shipments

2001 - 881.9 Million copies and $12,909.4 Million in dollar value

2002 - 803.3 Million copies and $12,044.1 Million in dollar value

2003 - 745.9 Million copies and $11,232.9 Million in dollar value

Some Comments on the RIAA 2003 Unit Shipment Data
Unfortunately the RIAA 2003 Unit Shipment report doesn't provide exact numbers of copies shipped. But it does indicate that during 2003, DVD Audio experienced a 0.8% increase in shipments and a 5.3% drop in the dollar value of units during the year.

Turning to Super Audio CD, the 2003 Unit Shipment report is the first time that SACD discs were tracked so no comparison can be made with the prior year. But the RIAA report does indicate that the format out shipped DVD Audio during 2003 by a 3X factor in terms of unit copies and a slightly higher factor in terms of dollar value.

The next edition of the RIAA unit shipment report will be available at the end of August, reflecting units shipped for the first half of 2004. This should be interesting as it will provide some insight into how the SACD figures are doing compared to the first report.

For comparison purposes, I've also included the 2003 unit shipment data for Vinyl LPs and Compact Discs since these formats are often compared to SACD and DVD Audio.

The report indicates that both CD and Vinyl LP units shipped are declining as one would expect. While Compact Disc units shipped continue to dwarf both SACD and DVD Audio, the decline in Vinyl LP unit shipments are such that it would appear that Super Audio CD unit shipments may top Vinyl LP units during 2004 if this trend continues.

To view the news release and details of this report, visit the RIAA news release entitled "RIAA Announces 2003 Year-End Shipment Numbers" on their web site at http://www.riaa.com/news/newsletter/030404.asp and the actual copy of the figures in Adobe Acrobat format at http://www.riaa.com/news/newsletter/pdf/2003yearEnd.pdf

DVD Audio Tops SACD In RIAA Consumer Phone Survey
Next we turn to the RIAA's 2003 Consumer Profile. This is a phone survey of over 2,900 consumers across the United States conducted for the RIAA by Peter D. Hart Research Associates. The survey asks consumers how many music discs they have purchased and in what formats do they buy their music.

In terms of types of music purchased, Rock music is the clear leader. Here's how the consumer phone survey breaks down the top 5 types of music purchased:
1. Rock - 25.2%
2. Rap/Hip Hop - 13.3%
3. R&B/Urban - 10.6%
4. Country - 10.4%
5. Pop - 8.9%

The consumer phone survey also asks the survey participants what formats they purchased in. The 8 format choices came in as follows:
1. CDs (Full Length) - 87.8%
2. DVD Audio - 2.7%
3. Singles (All Types) - 2.4%
4. Cassettes (Full Length) - 2.2%
5. Digital Downloads - 1.3%
6. Music Videos & DVD Videos - 0.6%
7. Super Audio CD - 0.5%
8. Vinyl LPs - 0.5%

Looking at the phone survey we find that consumers classified most of their music purchases as CDs (full length) with a whopping 87.8% in that category. This suggests that consumer interest in purchasing music in CD form remains strong.

The #2 category that consumers say they purchase music on is DVD Audio at 2.7%. This bests all other formats including Singles, Cassettes, Digital Downloads, DVD Videos & Music Videos, Super Audio CDs and Vinyl LPs.

I'd say this result is a bit surprising, especially the finding that consumers say they buy more music on DVD Audio than on either DVD Video & Music Videos or Digital Downloads. It does make one wonder if the consumers in the phone survey might be confusing the DVD Audio format with music on a DVD Video disc.

As for the status of Super Audio CD, it is tied with the Vinyl LP at 0.5% which is interesting since SACDs and Vinyl LPs are also close together in the 2003 RIAA Unit Shipment survey.

To view the news release and details of this report, visit the RIAA news release entitled "RIAA Releases 2003 Consumer Profile" on their web site at http://www.riaa.com/news/newsletter/030404.asp and the actual copy of the consumer profile statistics in Adobe Acrobat format at http://www.riaa.com/news/marketingdata/ ... rofile.pdf

The DVD Marketing Council Press Release
I should also note that the 2003 RIAA consumer phone survey is the source of the recent DVD Marketing Council Press Announcement that was recently posted here on High Fidelity Review (see link below). It states that "DVD-Audio sales doubled in 2003 and are more than five times that of SACD, according to an RIAA survey".

Well, the consumer phone survey shows DVD Audio in the lead. But the units shipment survey shows a 3X lead for Super Audio CD over DVD Audio when Unit Shipments and Dollar Value during 2003 are considered. It also indicates only a very slight increase in unit shipments from year to year for DVD Audio. So one does have to ask what is more important - unit shipments and dollar value or consumer impressions of formats purchased.

The press release also makes one wonder why the marketing group didn't also note that the RIAA consumer phone survey also says that DVD Audio is outselling DVD Video and Music Video discs and Digital Downloads. I'd say those are the even more impressive survey results here - if valid.

What Does It All Mean?
Looking at the two surveys, one has to conclude that both of the high resolution audio formats - Super Audio CD and DVD Audio - have some serious marketing work ahead of them. While Super Audio CD is approaching the Vinyl LP in units shipped, it still tied for last place in the consumer phone survey.

And the data in the Units Shipped and Dollar Value survey indicates that DVD Audio has leveled out in units shipped and needs to find a way to climb to the next level. The consumer phone survey is encouraging, presumably due to their relationship to their big brother - the DVD Video disc - and could be a way to help the format build actual unit sales in the months ahead.

The coming year will tell us how both formats do. It will be an interesting story to watch.


DIGITAL AUDIO is posed to take over the planet sooner than we think!


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