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  • At Odds With The So Called Experts!

    One has to wonder if some of these so called experts actually to listen to music or they just like the sound of their own voice. I've been at odds with one of them in particular, Sean Olive of JBL since his half baked single speaker tests. Here are the "experts" sounding their expertly selves, of course as is common nowdays journalists tend to bring guests who support only one side of the argument rather than reporting on all the facts! You decide.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/02/10/146697...than-cd-or-not

    david
    Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
    Distribution: NEODIO

    Special Sales: van den Hul
    Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

    Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

  • #2
    Given that a lot of audiophile and engineer/tech oriented publications don't seem to get it right, more mainstream media (i.e. not dedicated to sound) are pretty unlikely to do more than skim the surface. And when they do, it's often the outlandish- e.g. "Why people pay $1,000 for this Man's Records," (any article about Tom Port/Better Records). JBL guy is claiming CD is better for "testing." OK. It's like, let's see how this sports car performs by putting it on a dynamometer, rather than driving it. (You really need to do both, right?) Then again, Vlad has that secret algorithm.
    Speaking of JBL, there's a thread on the Gon where your input would be appreciated- it is a poster asking about Everests v. Avantgarde. I haven't figured out how to do call out with at "@" notification on the Gon so mentioned that your input would be welcomed.
    Have a good one. Probably hot in Utah, no?

    Comment


    • david k
      david k commented
      Editing a comment
      Looks like you pretty much covered it Bill. I also agree that the JBLs are technically better than the Duos but efficiency or lack of is an issue with the current Everest. My systems all start with a Lamm SET too, difference between us is that I'd go with a vintage horn before looking at the Avantgardes or any other current horn for that matter because bass integration is almost always an issue.

      david

  • #3
    Hi Bill,

    I'm a very firm believer of Vlads designs, 20 years now! Utah is a little hot but dry heat isn't as bothersome.

    I'll take a look at Agon.

    david
    Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
    Distribution: NEODIO

    Special Sales: van den Hul
    Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

    Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

    Comment


    • Bill Hart
      Bill Hart commented
      Editing a comment
      thanks, David.

  • #4
    Great read
    I have a chill of thought for why vinyl people stay hard and strong on vinyl or tape
    first all of our music is analog it's how we hear right but most of us grew up on real pure analog and as we learn to hear better we form opinions right. So even though pure analog is greatly manipulated with eq to' compensate for the process most still claim it's pure. What it is pure is what we have or your guys have learned as to is pure.
    Mill bet the best analog tape does not measure well compared to a dsd sample. But I for one love dsd but not when it's pure. For me it's best from tape. So for me it's even more played with. So my point is it's not what is better but what we percive is better. . Now the moment anyone measures it all inherently flaws become shown but we do not hear without flaws do we ? For me best is what's best for me. My 9 year old plays piano in front of me. I pre fire some of my best recordings over his. Hi End audio is in part smoke and mirrors and we only like our reflection
    analog stuff.
    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
    Dacs lampi various

    Comment


    • #5
      Thanks for posting this link! I totally agree Such a total joke David. But I don't have the time to respond at the moment as am getting ready to go to John Devore's picnic in Prospect Park. Later!
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 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. 6, 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 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • Bill Hart
        Bill Hart commented
        Editing a comment
        Nice. No monkey business, now!

    • #6
      I started feeling ill to my stomach when reading that article and I had to quit.
      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

      Comment


      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        That's what Tums are for!

    • #7
      nothing in the article really surprised me per se, the show was called "science Friday" after all. The most egregious statement among various was the implication that early CDs that sounded bad were because of the analog sources they were mastered from.

      the two most interesting conversations I had at the recent Newport show were with Sean Olive's colleague Kevin Voecks of Revel fame and Roger Modjeski of Music Reference/RAM Labs. They couldn't be more diametrically opposed philosophically on all things audio but they are both brilliant thinkers and very capable designers/engineers. I had to pry my self away from Roger I promised to continue our chat one day the next time i'm in Santa Barbara.
      TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

      "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

      Comment


      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        I think this stuff from Olive does more to damage Kevin's rep than help it.

    • #8
      Expert - X is the unknown in an equation, spurt is a small drip under pressure. Thus an expert is a small drip under pressure.

      The preceding joke is quite common in industrial and military technical fields. It usually describes whatever engineer or technical representative a company sends out to try to get some poorly conceived badly engineered indifferently manufactured piece of gear that doesn't make it even halfway to its stated performance goal to work. Invariably with an embarrassing lack of success.

      On the surface what I see in the NPR thing is a few insults disguised as clever anecdotes. Looking a little deeper they are admitting that digital sounds worse because of insufficient bit depth and rate, that it has been poorly mastered and that the primary use is due to convenience. Add to that any fool with a laptop can be a "mastering engineer".

      This is not to say all new or reissued LPs are of superior quality. Or that all LPs from the past are either. As with all mediums be it LP, CD or whatever, the entire recording chain matters. Indifference or incompetence at any point irreversibly degrades the recording. Clever platitudes merely gloss this over.

      Finally, for the end users (ie. us). Ever individual is the final arbiter of what is good and what is dross in terms of the quality of the medium. The musical merit of a recording is a separate issue.

      Comment


      • #9
        I don't even know where to begin after reading that transcription.

        Was it repeating the same old garbage over again? Was it the vinyl cliches? Was it the misinformation? Was it the bad research passed off as the gold standard? Was it the same old stuff as to why early digital didn't sound good regurgitated again (to wit this: "So a lot of the, you know, objectionable sounds of CD was actually because the record companies didn't bother to remaster these old recordings." Hogwash despite what Ramone says; in fact, it was the analog releases that sounded the best in the early days of digital.) Was it people talking about vinyl listening to 30 year old+ $300 tables that weren't even good back then? Was it once again engineers simply ignoring biology and testing methodology? Was it being disingenuous about what recording engineers listen for and do in the studio? Was it trying to justify that MP3s, in any format, sound like music? Was it all of the above? And that's just the short list. Now you know why Mark had acute onset nausea.

        BTW, what were they listening to when comparing the LP and CD?

        I'll start with the Olive/Harman testing. Only someone who is totally brainwashed can buy into that hogwash. They ignore practically everything we know about testing and biology including the adaptation process, the inverted U hypothesis--> and how that affects human perception and most significantly (and this is also relevant to perception) short term vs long term memory and processing. Starting with the last first. Short term memory is like a 1983 computer with a 20 Mb hard drive. Short term memory has very limited capacity and the more it is loaded, the more that is lost. I'm not going to even talk about conversion at the conscious (or subconscious) level short term memories into long term memories. So what do ABX tests show? Nothing at all or anything we didn't know. The brain is highly unreliable when it comes to this sort of testing (just ask the police interviewing bystanders to a crime and who get multiple descriptions).

        Then there's adaptation. If you are put into the arctic, you will shiver for three weeks after which you being to adapt to the cold. Same goes in reverse. In short, every stimulus (or think stress) we encounter induces an adaption response that is controlled at the genetic level (stressor can be oxygen levels, alcohol, heat, arsenic, etc). Another example is say with athletes and VO2 max measurements (maximal oxygen consumption). I can take an elite level marathoner and measure their VO2max. Then I could put them on a bike or some other aerobic activity like swimming and they would test out like a beginner. Same would go with swimmer doing running, biker doing swimming, etc. The point is that the adaptation is intimately linked to the stressor. Then think about the Harman tests where they notch out or emphasize one frequency area and test participants. Then two areas and so on. Is that how we listen to music? Hardly. Is anyone surprised that experienced listeners don't far well when tested against non-listeners? Of course not. Because they are starting from zero. Because of the process of adaptation.

        Another consideration is the limbic (the older, more primitive area of the brain) vs. the frontal cortex (the newer part of the brain that we are just beginning to use a homo sapiens). The limbic system is intimately involved in the fight or flight response and also why we often initially like a component but grow increasingly disenchanted with time. All this is related to the limbic system of the brain. Location of things for instance that are related to our survival. But not necessarily related to anything musical.

        Finally, there's perception and perceptual abilities. A concert pianist requires maximal perceptual ability to accomplish their tasks; conversely, take an Olympic weightlifter needs very little perceptual ability because they are basically doing one thing. Lifting a heavy weight from the floor and bringing it overhead in a snatch or clean and jerk. Or take for example the case of a professional QB. The defense blitzes the QB to decrease his perceptual abilities, have to take more things into account (and overloading short term memory) and make a mistake. That can be run back for a TD. Same goes for someone taking a "test" that involves very fine perceptual abilities. You don't want anything stressing them yet we know the ability to take tests varies widely among people. That alone should obviate and obliterate any statistics. Then through into the equation work from a professor at ASU five or ten years ago (I lost his research paper a while ago) who should that interaural hearing among people or the population swamps out any statistical measurement. Yes I know The Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal but clearly we weren't all given the same talents. I'm not going to make a sprinter into a marathoner or a marathoner into a sprinter.

        So here we have three biological processes that are just side stepped in the testing process.
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
        -Goldmund Telos 300 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. 6, 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 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

        Comment


        • Bill Hart
          Bill Hart commented
          Editing a comment
          Helpful description of how biological and psychological factors play into testing.Well explained, Myles.

      • #10
        But the greatest disservice is just the Harman testing process. First the tests are done with one speaker on a carousel in a dead room behind what they want us to believe is an acoustically transparent curtain.

        The greatest disservice--and shows the sloppiness of testing--were the results obtained with the Martin-Logan speakers. I suggest people blow up the picture of the Martin-Logans used in the test. It is appalling.

        1. The speaker (yes singular) was plugged into a $2 electrical strip laden with many other devices (a barrier strip???). Were the speakers even getting the right voltage?
        2. The speakers look damaged. The bottom of the speakers look they were dropped off a loading dock multiple times.
        3. The ML were the only speakers used without the manufacturer supplied spikes. OK a minor point but points to the sloppiness.
        4. The ML were driven by a Proceed amplifier. Really, it wasn't a very good sounding amplifier and prove to me first that the Proceed amplifier is capable of driving Martin-Logans. They are far from an easy load and many well respected amplifiers have crapped out when facing the job of driving these stats. Probably most of the results were erroneous just because of the amplifiers driven.
        5. Who listens to a dipole speaker in this manner in a dead room?

        Now is anyone surprised by the results of the tests?
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
        -Goldmund Telos 300 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. 6, 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 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

        Comment


        • #11
          Then let's talk about recording engineers. The majority of them wouldn't know good sound if it ran over them. What do recording engineers really care about? 1. Dynamics. (though you couldn't tell by today's compressed releases) 2. There's no rumble. How could they even tell what a recording sound like on Auratones or NS10 with toilet paper covered tweeters anyway? And we are supposed to take what they say as fact? Do they think we are on crack?
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
          -Goldmund Telos 300 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. 6, 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 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

          Comment


          • #12
            I would like a shirt list of what seems great in analog just o compare to my digital for a keep sake
            I own many what I feel is rest stuff I consider ref material
            there is doubt analog in any for m is not digital but some thing I'll bet most never consider is how off is one over the other. Ok kNow most here consider its done but how much exposed to good digital do the Anolog groups hear as what some consider great didgal. On another website there is some who claim listening to un amped live music is the class all music should be judged from
            is this true as a Standard. Maybe I am off topic andif I am sorry.
            analog stuff.
            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
            sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
            new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
            thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
            thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
            kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
            phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
            speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
            mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
            digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
            Dacs lampi various

            Comment


            • #13
              Originally posted by Rob View Post
              nothing in the article really surprised me per se, the show was called "science Friday" after all. The most egregious statement among various was the implication that early CDs that sounded bad were because of the analog sources they were mastered from.
              That was imbecilic, as a matter of fair I prefer the early direct transfers of many titles over their remastered versions!

              david
              Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
              Distribution: NEODIO

              Special Sales: van den Hul
              Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

              Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
              http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
              http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

              Comment


              • #14
                IMO the sole purpose of those tests for Olive was for self promotion. They were done to support his hypothesis for the AES paper he was writing. The entire thing was rigged, they used wide dispersion, easy to drive theater horn from JBL to compare to some of the most difficult to drive speakers with a narrow dispersion pattern. As you noted they used a Proceed amp or maybe even a cheap Crown in that chassis, either way those amps aren't up to driving ML or the B&Ws, I could have told the outcome without listening to a single not from those speakers, the fix was in. What was interesting is that even with that crooked test there was a lot of inconsistency with the various listening groups and in the end they had to coach an entire group on how and what to listen for before getting any repeatable results. You've done scientific trials in your lifetime, how does this pass anyone's stink test?

                david

                Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                But the greatest disservice is just the Harman testing process. First the tests are done with one speaker on a carousel in a dead room behind what they want us to believe is an acoustically transparent curtain.

                The greatest disservice--and shows the sloppiness of testing--were the results obtained with the Martin-Logan speakers. I suggest people blow up the picture of the Martin-Logans used in the test. It is appalling.

                1. The speaker (yes singular) was plugged into a $2 electrical strip laden with many other devices (a barrier strip???). Were the speakers even getting the right voltage?
                2. The speakers look damaged. The bottom of the speakers look they were dropped off a loading dock multiple times.
                3. The ML were the only speakers used without the manufacturer supplied spikes. OK a minor point but points to the sloppiness.
                4. The ML were driven by a Proceed amplifier. Really, it wasn't a very good sounding amplifier and prove to me first that the Proceed amplifier is capable of driving Martin-Logans. They are far from an easy load and many well respected amplifiers have crapped out when facing the job of driving these stats. Probably most of the results were erroneous just because of the amplifiers driven.
                5. Who listens to a dipole speaker in this manner in a dead room?

                Now is anyone surprised by the results of the tests?
                Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
                Distribution: NEODIO

                Special Sales: van den Hul
                Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

                Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
                http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
                http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

                Comment


                • #15
                  Originally posted by david k View Post
                  IMO the sole purpose of those tests for Olive was for self promotion. They were done to support his hypothesis for the AES paper he was writing. The entire thing was rigged, they used wide dispersion, easy to drive theater horn from JBL to compare to some of the most difficult to drive speakers with a narrow dispersion pattern. As you noted they used a Proceed amp or maybe even a cheap Crown in that chassis, either way those amps aren't up to driving ML or the B&Ws, I could have told the outcome without listening to a single not from those speakers, the fix was in. What was interesting is that even with that crooked test there was a lot of inconsistency with the various listening groups and in the end they had to coach an entire group on how and what to listen for before getting any repeatable results. You've done scientific trials in your lifetime, how does this pass anyone's stink test?

                  david


                  What I find curious is how these so-called scientists shoehorn every experiment into the same methodology. Whether the methodology works or makes sense. The exact opposite of what you need to do. Might I add, the same scientists who argue over which statistical test to use. Could you imagine if they used the same statistic test for every study. Well they use the exact same methodology like mindless Moonies for the same experiments. Talk about not thinking outside the box.

                  I always wondered why Toole chose to use one speaker in these studies? To eliminate the "seating" effect? Wouldn't those seated off axis still be at a disadvantage? (I don't think he did one person at a time in the trials but it's been a while since I read the studies.)
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                  -Goldmund Telos 300 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. 6, 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 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                  Comment

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