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  • Isolation Platforms and Accessories

    A lot of well known companies (Symposium, Ginko, Harmonic Resolution, etc) and some unknown platforms on audiogon claim increased isolation without decreasing dynamics. Others have stated products such Maple butcher blocks also improve isolation and lower the noise floor of components. Roller blocks and Isolation footers have also been recommended since the rubber footers that come standard with components and amplifiers increase noise and muddy the sound.

    Outside of the well known companies mentioned above (and feel free to let me know others), what platforms have you tried and worked extremely well? Other some better value than others? Does the law of diminishing returns kick in at all for isolation platforms? Are there some cheaper options out there that get close to some of the more high end manufactures? I've heard of many satisfied users of Symposium, but having to put $500 under each component could get expensive really fast. Feel free to mention some disappointments as well. I'm just starting my search. I've also inquired to see if Symposium carries any B-Stocks, since any scratch or mark will not be seen when the component sits on top - may be able to save some money that way too.

    Last, in ranking order, what do you think are the most important components to isolate? I'd be curious to see how you'd rank them. Without any experience whatsoever, I'd would guess Turntable > Amplifier > Speakers > CD/DAC > Preamp > Phono Preamp > Music Server, etc. THis is complete conjecture and I'm probably way off. What components are most susceptible to noise and muddied sound?

  • #2
    Before I answer this question, or should I say myriad of wuestioins🤔🙄what are up you currently using for isolation? Come to think of it, what is your system like?
    TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

    Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

    VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
    Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

    Piega C711 Loudspeakers

    Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

    Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator, Synergistic Research 12 UEF SE Line Conditioner, Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cords, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Synergistic Research Orange Outlet, Furutech NCF Booster Braces, Audio Art Ref IC, MIT Oracle IC, synergistic Research Atmosphere X Euphoria Level 3 Balanced ICs, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

    Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.

    Comment


    • Analog21
      Analog21 commented
      Editing a comment
      I've come to view platforms, isolation accessories, power cords, etc the last piece of the puzzle after one's system is pretty complete. I just purchased a VPI Avenger which was a good chunk of change. Also saving for my EAR CD/DAC. Starting to build my system after a recently upgrade to my turntable.

    • JCOConnell
      JCOConnell commented
      Editing a comment
      I have zero isolation in my system. Having some some would surely be desirable. I do have my TT sitting on a large piece of granite and its pointed feet have some rubber between the foot metal and the plinth, so maybe there is a tiny amount of isolation, but not much.

    • Analog21
      Analog21 commented
      Editing a comment
      JCOConnell, I won't be putting isolation on everything. I'm trying to figure out my turntable first and the go from there. I'm sure it is important to some degree, but I'd rather buy music and add a second tonearm with a mono cartridge before I do isolation platforms on all the equipment.

  • #3
    Other than possibly the Symposium platforms, there aren't any out there that I can afford. I've been using butcher blocks for years and for isolation feet I concocted my own method of felt-covered hockey pucks. I applied a 3" furniture felt pad to both sides of each puck and placed the butcher block on top. The main benefit was a good amount of tighter bass. Never noticed a reduction in the noise floor though...or at least not that I could tell.

    When I bought my Oracle I wanted to stay with butcher block, but I also wanted something more visually appealing. I found one made from rubberwood and it had 4 round rubberwood feet. I then took 4 Vibrapod Isolation feet (without the cones) I had on hand and placed them upside down (inverted) underneath each wooden support (leg). It looks much nicer and I'm happy with it.

    https://www.amazon.ca/Sevy-002180-Pr.../dp/B00GMDONJI

    Click image for larger version

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    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

    Comment


    • #4
      Gingko while less sophisticated than many of the top devices is more accessibly priced and very effective.
      TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

      Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

      VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
      Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

      Piega C711 Loudspeakers

      Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

      Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator, Synergistic Research 12 UEF SE Line Conditioner, Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cords, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Synergistic Research Orange Outlet, Furutech NCF Booster Braces, Audio Art Ref IC, MIT Oracle IC, synergistic Research Atmosphere X Euphoria Level 3 Balanced ICs, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

      Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.

      Comment


      • #5
        I've used Critical Mass Systems for about 10 years. The only other I would personally consider and/or recommend is SRA.

        Comment


        • #6
          My Linn sits on a vintage Sound Organization wall mounted shelf. Any isolation devices I've tried in the past made it sound like a Linn will when out of tune.

          Tube amps sit on a mix of hockey pucks, Brightstar IsoNodes and Ikea Proppad Cork bottle stoppers (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30255311/). Mixing blue, black and orange hockey pucks (different density/mass) allows some tuning to be done.

          I also have a set of three Sold Tech Feet-Of-Silence that worked great under my Marantz SA-8001 SACD player. but are sitting in a box right now.

          The things I've had the best results isolating have been - tube electronics, CD and SACD players, and stand mounted speakers. Always used either IsoNodes or now Audioquest Q-Feet between the speakers and their stands. There were some devices for this purpose shown at the Newport show too.
          Steve Lefkowicz
          Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
          -
          Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low Output, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
          Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 26, Tidal HiFi and Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
          Electronics: DIY passive line-stage with TKD 10K pot, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
          Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
          Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
          Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet
          Digital cables: Aural Symphonics Digital Standard xxv USB, Belkin PureAV.
          Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
          Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

          http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...ounding-system

          Comment


          • #7
            We have all kinds, ranging from butcher blocks all the way to Krolos.
            Hugh Nguyen
            ACA

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Analog21 View Post
              A lot of well known companies (Symposium, Ginko, Harmonic Resolution, etc) and some unknown platforms on audiogon claim increased isolation without decreasing dynamics. Others have stated products such Maple butcher blocks also improve isolation and lower the noise floor of components. Roller blocks and Isolation footers have also been recommended since the rubber footers that come standard with components and amplifiers increase noise and muddy the sound.

              Outside of the well known companies mentioned above (and feel free to let me know others), what platforms have you tried and worked extremely well? Other some better value than others? Does the law of diminishing returns kick in at all for isolation platforms? Are there some cheaper options out there that get close to some of the more high end manufactures? I've heard of many satisfied users of Symposium, but having to put $500 under each component could get expensive really fast. Feel free to mention some disappointments as well. I'm just starting my search. I've also inquired to see if Symposium carries any B-Stocks, since any scratch or mark will not be seen when the component sits on top - may be able to save some money that way too.

              Last, in ranking order, what do you think are the most important components to isolate? I'd be curious to see how you'd rank them. Without any experience whatsoever, I'd would guess Turntable > Amplifier > Speakers > CD/DAC > Preamp > Phono Preamp > Music Server, etc. THis is complete conjecture and I'm probably way off. What components are most susceptible to noise and muddied sound?
              I guess I would worry about the rack first and then the platforms are gilding on the lily.

              As far as susceptibility to those bad vibrations, I think it is component to component variable. Of course I find tables and digital gear the most dependent. One might think phono next, but in my system, I find the preamp more important. Amps also can be very important; solid-state amps can be as, if not more, sensitive to bad vibes than tube gear. One might consider a good rack and temporarily finishing it off with some good tiptoes or footers. Symposium even makes some inexpensive Segue platforms for tables too, with price depending upon size.

              Wood platforms can work but I find them more adding a complimentary or pleasant coloration many times rather than actually sounding real.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
              -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • #9
                Over the years, I've managed to try out and buy lots of different isolation products - so many that I wasn't sure that I could remember all of them. So I searched to see if I could find a nice listing of different isolation products and stumbled across the following article that gives a pretty good survey of many isolation products.
                http://www.gcaudio.com/templates/iso...20devices.html
                Scanning through the list, I have bought the following: 1) Black Diamond Racing cones; 2) BDR shelf; 3) Bright Star Isonodes; 4) Final Daruma; 5) Vibrapods; 6) various maple or bamboo boards; 7) most recently, Daedalus Isolation Devices.

                As others have suggested, all of these need to be tried out in one's own system. They help tune things in and can improve various aspects of the system once the basics have already gotten one to a good place. I've gotten good results with all of them, expect for the Darumas, which never did a thing in my system.

                My most recent purchase was a set of the Daedalus Isolation Devices (DiDs), which I bought while attending the Newport Audio Show a few weeks back. Lou Hinkley the owner and craftsman behind Daedalus speakers was in the Modwright room and did a very impressive demo where he played the system with and without the DiDs under one component. Bass definition and the ability to distinguish instruments got much better. After the demo, I bought a set of 3 on the spot. Taking them home, I tried them under my power amp (a First Watt F7) and found no improvement or perhaps a step back compared to the current setup of an Ikea Bamboo cutting board sitting on Vibrapods. But they made a huge improvement under my tube preamp - a CJ Premier 14, and they've found a permanent home there.

                I've had really good results with the BDR shelf and cones under solid state preamps, turntables, and digital equipment. The Bright Star Isonodes were also really good under DACs.

                Prices for this stuff is all over the map and isn't always a good indicator of effectiveness. In general, the expensive stuff works great, but that doesn't mean you can't do well for less. Sometimes you can get great results with cheap homemade stuff. You just need to experiment. It's nice having a few of the expensive ones around as a reference in one's own system to compare. That's my experience.
                ---Gary
                Analog: Scheu + Immedia RPM tonearm + Koetsu Black + Pass Xono or Threshold FET 10pe
                Amps: First Watt F7, HK Citation II
                Pre-Amps: CJ Premier 14, Threshold FET 10e, DIY 417a with output transformer
                Speakers: Horning Eufrodite, Reference 3A mm de capo
                Tuners: Sansui TU9900, McIntosh MR78
                Digital: i7 Server (Roon) + SSD, Sonore urendu + Mutec MC3+ USB + Berkeley Alpha Dac, Audiomeca Mephisto
                Power: Audience AR12, Torus Tot, DIY filters

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by GaryB View Post
                  Over the years, I've managed to try out and buy lots of different isolation products - so many that I wasn't sure that I could remember all of them. So I searched to see if I could find a nice listing of different isolation products and stumbled across the following article that gives a pretty good survey of many isolation products.
                  http://www.gcaudio.com/templates/iso...20devices.html
                  Scanning through the list, I have bought the following: 1) Black Diamond Racing cones; 2) BDR shelf; 3) Bright Star Isonodes; 4) Final Daruma; 5) Vibrapods; 6) various maple or bamboo boards; 7) most recently, Daedalus Isolation Devices.

                  As others have suggested, all of these need to be tried out in one's own system. They help tune things in and can improve various aspects of the system once the basics have already gotten one to a good place. I've gotten good results with all of them, expect for the Darumas, which never did a thing in my system.

                  My most recent purchase was a set of the Daedalus Isolation Devices (DiDs), which I bought while attending the Newport Audio Show a few weeks back. Lou Hinkley the owner and craftsman behind Daedalus speakers was in the Modwright room and did a very impressive demo where he played the system with and without the DiDs under one component. Bass definition and the ability to distinguish instruments got much better. After the demo, I bought a set of 3 on the spot. Taking them home, I tried them under my power amp (a First Watt F7) and found no improvement or perhaps a step back compared to the current setup of an Ikea Bamboo cutting board sitting on Vibrapods. But they made a huge improvement under my tube preamp - a CJ Premier 14, and they've found a permanent home there.

                  I've had really good results with the BDR shelf and cones under solid state preamps, turntables, and digital equipment. The Bright Star Isonodes were also really good under DACs.

                  Prices for this stuff is all over the map and isn't always a good indicator of effectiveness. In general, the expensive stuff works great, but that doesn't mean you can't do well for less. Sometimes you can get great results with cheap homemade stuff. You just need to experiment. It's nice having a few of the expensive ones around as a reference in one's own system to compare. That's my experience.
                  ---Gary
                  Guess you can also throw in the pack the Synergistic Research MIGs too.

                  Is BDR still in business? DJ passed away a couple of years ago. I had mixed results with the BDR. While on paper, carbon fiber should be the end all, it too, like everything else, has a sound. It's been a while since listened to the BDR shelves but I though they might have tended to having a slightly overdamped quality to them. Just slightly too dead sounding. But as you said, so much depends on other factors too.

                  Nice feedback on Lou's devices. He offered me some to try but haven't had a chance to follow up on the offer. For whatever the reason, cj tube preamps seem especially sensitive to vibration. Even my GAT. Not sure if it's the number of caps in the units--be they PS or Teflon--that's important. Strangely enough, I thought the ART and GAT preamps were more sensitive than the phono stages to vibrations or what they rested upon.
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                  -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                  -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                  -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                    . . . Is BDR still in business? . . . I had mixed results with the BDR . . .
                    It looks like BDR is still around. They've got a website that is more or less up to date and I see their products for sale at Music Direct.

                    I agree with you about BDR products not being neutral. In fact BDR even acknowledges that fact and offers their cones in two flavors - #3 and #4. The #3 cones are a bit softer sounding and can help tame some bright products while the #4 cones are a bit more extended and neutral. When I first bought the cones in the early 2000s, I thought they were expensive at $20 a cone. These days they're still $20 a cone and that now sounds cheap to me. Funny how one's perceptions change, especially with the help of more than a decade's inflation.

                    This whole discussion about "isolation" devices, does raise the question of what these devices are doing and whether one is really looking for isolation or if one is trying to control resonant behavior. With turntables, most people have an easy time believing that good isolation from room vibration is necessary. More controversial is the idea that all devices, both tube and solid state, have subtle microphonic behavior that should be controlled for best sound. People more or less can understand that tubes can be microphonic. But solid state devices also show this effect and benefit from tuning. But one isn't necessarily just looking for isolation. It looks more like controlling the resonant behavior of things like the chassis, the internal structure (pc boards, etc.) and getting the resonance to occur at a more benign frequency or set of frequencies where it does less harm.

                    ---Gary
                    Analog: Scheu + Immedia RPM tonearm + Koetsu Black + Pass Xono or Threshold FET 10pe
                    Amps: First Watt F7, HK Citation II
                    Pre-Amps: CJ Premier 14, Threshold FET 10e, DIY 417a with output transformer
                    Speakers: Horning Eufrodite, Reference 3A mm de capo
                    Tuners: Sansui TU9900, McIntosh MR78
                    Digital: i7 Server (Roon) + SSD, Sonore urendu + Mutec MC3+ USB + Berkeley Alpha Dac, Audiomeca Mephisto
                    Power: Audience AR12, Torus Tot, DIY filters

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      About the only commercial isolation devices I can afford are Vibrapods. They work to one degree or another depending on the equipment they are placed under, noting they should not be used under anything that produces a substantial amount of heat. They in particular work under a 1/2" thick bamboo cutting board under a Rega 78 turntable.

                      Various home made isolation devises work well. It's easy enough to make constrained layer shelves/platforms. Layers of dissimilar materials, polymer non hardening adhesives, a vacuum bag (the kind used to store clothes and bedding work fine)and a vacuum cleaner. Bamboo cutting board, Ikea has a think one for about $14 on line. Two pieces of MDF, a 1" hole say and a bunch of handballs or squash balls (early Gingko). Take some of that pourable Flex Seal you see on TV, some lead and/or bismuth bird shot and a Teflon coated muffin pan to make vibration absorbing pucks, for a sheet use a Teflon coated cake pan or sheet.

                      Like commercially available products, the effect varies with the equipment it's tried on but generally speaking the price is right

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by GaryB View Post
                        It looks like BDR is still around. They've got a website that is more or less up to date and I see their products for sale at Music Direct.

                        I agree with you about BDR products not being neutral. In fact BDR even acknowledges that fact and offers their cones in two flavors - #3 and #4. The #3 cones are a bit softer sounding and can help tame some bright products while the #4 cones are a bit more extended and neutral. When I first bought the cones in the early 2000s, I thought they were expensive at $20 a cone. These days they're still $20 a cone and that now sounds cheap to me. Funny how one's perceptions change, especially with the help of more than a decade's inflation.

                        This whole discussion about "isolation" devices, does raise the question of what these devices are doing and whether one is really looking for isolation or if one is trying to control resonant behavior. With turntables, most people have an easy time believing that good isolation from room vibration is necessary. More controversial is the idea that all devices, both tube and solid state, have subtle microphonic behavior that should be controlled for best sound. People more or less can understand that tubes can be microphonic. But solid state devices also show this effect and benefit from tuning. But one isn't necessarily just looking for isolation. It looks more like controlling the resonant behavior of things like the chassis, the internal structure (pc boards, etc.) and getting the resonance to occur at a more benign frequency or set of frequencies where it does less harm.

                        ---Gary
                        re: solid-state devices. Why do some speaker manufacturers use outboard xovers? Years ago, I had the Rowland 10s in for review and they were very sensitive to vibration. Certainly all these amps have nice big power transformers generating vibrations too.

                        Or as I like to say. How do you make a $10,000 amplifier sound like a receiver? Place it on the floor or a rug. At least in the days where amplifier were made with simple rubber feet.
                        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                        ________________________________________

                        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                        -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                        -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

                          re: solid-state devices. Why do some speaker manufacturers use outboard xovers? Years ago, I had the Rowland 10s in for review and they were very sensitive to vibration. Certainly all these amps have nice big power transformers generating vibrations too.

                          Or as I like to say. How do you make a $10,000 amplifier sound like a receiver? Place it on the floor or a rug. At least in the days where amplifier were made with simple rubber feet.
                          Correct.
                          Hugh Nguyen
                          ACA

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            I have been talking with Peter at Symposium. Considering an Ultra for my new Avenger.

                            Comment


                            • Analog21
                              Analog21 commented
                              Editing a comment
                              He recommended the Segue Iso for my Avenger. Wonder why the Ultra?
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