Sevenstring Pickup Guide

Discussion in 'The Sevenstring.org Workbench' started by Digital Black, Oct 10, 2004.

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  1. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

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    Dimarzio Tone Zone
    Mahogany (RG2027)

    -This is, fortunately, going to be a very short review. I traded an evo7 for this, as i wanted something with a bit more, well, balls. This wasn't it. No treble, and just awfull for any leads as it sounds flat, dull and has no sparkle. Rythm, i'd say ok, but still suffering from the lack of any pronounced highs, just makes it all sound muddy and lifeless. Avoid this pickup in mahogony if you can.

    Dimarzio Evolution
    Mahogony (RG2027)

    -I really do remember liking the sound of this, very very very clear, with being able to hear every single string in a 7string chord through a "metal" amount of gain, very impressive. Does scream as well. However, in mahogony I found it too clean, just lacking in character, and really not having that gutsy dirty sound to it. It's a hot, very clear pickup, but not aggressive.

    Dimarzio Evolution
    Basswood (UV7BK)

    -Now we are talking however! Whereas with the 2027 i always thought this pickup was too clear, in the UV (recently installed) it's tightened up the low end and got rid of the flubbiness on the low A (or B string if you are in standard tuning :D) that seemed to plague the Blaze and Blaze Custom. In short, this pickup makes for a fantastic tight thrash sound. I'd never really believed that it was close to EMG like, but it is a nasty little gained fueled monster. All the problems i had with in mahogony have reversed, and i find it ballsy and really aggro while retaining the clarity. Very nice. In fact, i think, so far, my favorite bridge pickup in basswood.

    edit: I just took this pickup to a rehearsal, and jezus! Does this thing cut through, really good at cutting straight through the mix. Very pleased with it :)
     
  2. Drache713

    Drache713 Contributor

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    Dimarzio X2N-7
    Ibanez RG7620

    First off - this thing is LOUD! Not uncontrallable loud, but definently very hot. I know people are concerned with the magnet pull of this on the strings but don't be, i got mine about 2mm away from the strings fretted at the 24th and have no magnetic pull problems. Despite being very high output this pickup is very clear and very articulate. It's got a really tight responsive low end (some people might think it sounds cold/thin but once you get it in a mix with bass and drums, it'll cut through like no other and sound punishing) and the high end is pretty smooth but it has this crisp high end presence/sizzle/bite thing going on that sounds so aggressive. The midrange is in there to, not scooped very much so that it doesn't sound tinny or thin/dark, and not so much midrange that it's way fat/honky and muddy/uncontrollable. If you're looking for a more natural or organic sounding pickup don't look to this one (even though if you were even considering the X2N-7 organic/natural sounds aren't probably what you're looking for anyways). Harmonics jump off this very well. Another thing people are concerned with are the cleans - I can get excellent bridge cleans with this in series without it distorting my amp, and it only gets better when you coil tap or coil split it (hello Strat!). This is probably the closest thing to an EMG/Dimebucker/Bill Lawrence 7-string pickup without having to route out your guitar or pay for a custom shop fabrication. Just awesome for metal and sounds absolutley brutal. :yesway:
     
  3. Black Watch

    Black Watch Contributor

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    Pickup: EMG 707
    Installed in: Ibanez RG7420

    When I first purchased my RG7 I thought the pickups left a lot to be desired, since then I have played some others and i think my pickups were duds, anyhow - I decided to try something huge. This was back in 1998, and I got a pair of 707's from EMG. It was fun to buy them because you had to go and ask them to make them for you (not sure if this is still the case). I ended up trading a few emails and phone calls with the EMG folks. The were very nice and a pleasure to work with. I took them to a local guitar modding / repair shop and they set them up. First off, these things are very different than every other pickup I have used before. Some of it bad, some of it good.

    Mounting Differences
    First off the Ibanez RG7s don't use pickup rings, so you get to see the metal plates down there in the body. I have always thought that a bit un-tidy, but oh well. The EMGs are physically larger (width and length) than your standard humbucker, so the pickup cavity had to be enlarged. Some of you might go into shock at the thought of someone strapping your axe on the mill and having a go, but the guys I was working with were first rate all the way. In fact most of the half circle hole at the top and bottom of the pickup "trench" was eliminated by the larger 707.

    Also note that the 707's are active pickups, so a 9v battery was added into the control cavity of the RG7. I also had a treble boost circuit added (also from EMG) to help give definition that I had been looking for.

    The Good
    These things are very high output. That is a blessing and a curse today. When working with a tube preamp or a long cable the 707's are a lot of fun because they can send a larger voltage (peak to peak) signal through the line. When playing through the Mesa V-Twin it is possible to drive it so hard that it all devolves into meaningless hash. I know there are some folks who like that though. The sound quality is very EMG, so if you are fan of that kind of sound you can get it in full. They will go very metal indeed (maybe more metal than I wanted at times). The treble boost circuit worked very much as desired and can really add a great deal of definition to low rhythm parts.

    The Bad
    The large signal output can sometimes be trouble to a modeling system like Line 6, where it really does not care that much about the nuances of the input signal. In addition it can sometimes feel like you are not quite in control of the tone as there is a so much output at times, and if you are really playing hard you can get outside of the range of "golden" input to your amp. What that boils down to is that you need to really learn how to work with them, and (in my opinion) there is some learning curve involved.

    Overall - a great move, and it sounds very different than my other guitars and is very useful in a variety of situations.

    Black Watch
     
  4. bigheadood

    bigheadood Metallurgist

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    pickup: X2N7
    guitar: RG 7321

    1st impression--the low end is huge. lots of bass and low mids without getting muddy. Not as much scream as I expected, but harmonics are effortless. Very rich and thick sounding, similar to a duncan custom custom, except with a much tighter low end.

    After some tweaking--Very responsive. This is not the one trick pony that I was expecting. While this pickup excels at anything high gain, it also works very well for blues, jazz, and of course, shred. Clean sound is usable in series, and very nice when split. Much better than the stock POS unit this guitar came with.

    Now this guitar needs a new neck pickup. Blaze, Paf, or jazz...not sure yet.
     
  5. Lethe

    Lethe SS.org Regular

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    Dimarzio Blaze Custom

    Had this in the bridge of my 7321 for about half a year now. No matter what I did, I never really got the tone I was looking for. Being mainly a rhythm guy, I think that with the BC, finding a good compromise between tight palm mutes and nice sounding upper strings is really tough. Or to put it the other way round: Finding a setting were your low notes don't sound muddy and "soft" while the high end doesn't literally make your ears bleed is pretty much impossible.
    Even after many hours of tuning the settings on my pod, trying many amps, cabs, micings, eq and compressor settings etc, rhythm still sounded pretty washy.

    I could not really put my finger onto what is wrong with my settings, and to be quite frank, the last thing I expected it to be was the BC, but that was exactly it.

    People sometimes recommend the BC over the regular Blaze, arguing that the mids are less scooped, which ist right, but they neglect to say that the BC seriously rolls off in the treble. This means that in order to get some balance in your tone, you must turn up the treble and presence on your amp, and resurrecting those buried high frequencies leads to the same as resurrecting human beings does: They get ugly, walk the streets moaning and eat your children. So by all means, beware! :cool:

    Keep in mind though, I based my opinion mainly on rhythm with the occasional solo. If you play both, you will probably not sound good at either. For mostly lead and depending on your style this might be the right pickup, but to me this was a bad choice.

    -------------------------------------------------------------
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    Dimarzion Evolution 7

    This came in the used Schecter Omen 7 Extreme I recently bought. At first, I was disappointed. All those patches I had so thoroughly tweaked for my 7321 with a BC sounded trebly as hell. My first reaction was: "Man, the BC is already slightly rolling off towards the treble, if it wasn't, it would sound like *this*! Maybe i should look for a pickup that rolls off even more."

    Wrong.

    As I said before, once something is gone, bringing it back is a bitch. On the other hand, if there is too much of something, you can always cut, and that'll always sound better to the human ear. So what I did was cut back a little on the presence and it was...well it was an epiphany.

    Harsh treble - gone.
    muddy palm mutes - gone.

    I was baffled, thinking "hey, where's the compromise here?". Well, there isn't one.

    Suddenly it all became tight as hell, powerchords were well defined and sounded serious as hell. It's so much more fun to play percussively now, you really can snap and thump along with the drums, it's just pure, unfiltered joy. I fell in love with this pickup, I really did. Yesterday our keyboarder came over and we composed a little, and she was blown away by the sound. Crisp, mean, grunty without getting all screachy at the top end.

    I A/B'ed the BC and Evo7 several times, and even when the BC was on patches I had tweaked for hours and days to make the BC sound good, it did not come close to a slightly modded version with the Evo.

    I would like to try the Blaze Neck in the bridge position, which seems to be an insiders' tip, but as of now, man, am I in love with the Evo. And to think I almost traded it for a Blaze Bridge! :nuts:
     
  6. g3rmanium

    g3rmanium NullPointerException

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    Seymour Duncan Jazz installed in a 2027XVV (mahogany), neck position.

    The samples on the SD website were a bit misleading. From the samples, you'd think that this is a very bright PU, but it isn't. Somehow they managed to make all strings sound the same (well, Jazz). Not a lot of treble. Very round. Good bass. Works great with octave fuzzes because it isn't bright.

    Seymour Duncan Distortion installed in a 2027XVV (mahogany), bridge position.

    The distortion has a very rock-inspired sound. Not a lot of bass (and definitely less than the Jazz in the neck), lots of upper midrange. Good clarity, dynamics and all. Not "Metal" sounding at all.

    Edit: I also noticed after swapping PUs that with the distortion, the sound changes a lot from the fourth string upwards. B to D strings sound a lot different than the G to E strings which are even brighter. Compared to the Blaze Neck the distortion really is very bright.
     
  7. Nuke

    Nuke SS.org Regular

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    Haven't seen this particular pickup/wood combo listed here yet:

    Pickups: Seymour Duncan Distortion-7 and Custom-7
    Installed in: Alder bodied Jackson Custom Shop Warrior with maple/ebony bolt-on neck

    Distortion-7: I've always been a big Duncan Distortion fan, so this was a natural choice for me when I ordered the guitar. Unfortunately, the only way to get more balls out of the pickup was to boost the EQ in my ADA MP-1/Digitech TSR12 rack setup, which left me with a custom patch for one guitar. While these two rack units have plenty of room for multiple guitar-specific patches, it doesn't work right out of the box with all the other patches I've tweaked and perfected over the years, and I'm not too interested in doing that all over again, so something's gotta change.

    As well, the guitar has an OFR-7, and it appears Duncan doesn't understand the concept of trem-spacing 7-string pickups, because the bass poles are aligned with the strings but the treble poles are too far off the mark for me. While a Distortion doesn't have to be spot on with the alignment due to the output level, if I decided to put the Custom-7 in the bridge, I'd be tonally screwed.


    Custom-7: The first time I moved a Custom to the neck position of a guitar, I was hooked on it. But that was a 6-string, and this is a 7-string, and the difference is pretty drastic. The neck pickup aligns perfectly with the strings, and distorted rhythm and lead tones are nice and beefy. Unfortunately the cleans are as weak as they could be. I prefer a nice round and bright clean more than the muted/muffled Joe Pass tones.

    I thought about moving the Custom to the brige position, but with the F-spacing issue, I'm nnot sure it's going to work.

    Looks like I'll be trying a few DiMarzios based on what I've read here.
     
  8. g3rmanium

    g3rmanium NullPointerException

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    Blaze Neck installed in a 2027XVV (mahogany), bridge position.

    Mh... It looked to me that the Blaze Neck in the bridge position was a sevenstring.org insider tip so I bought it and installed it.

    First, the output isn't very high. It's also noticeably darker compared to the SD Distortion (but then, the Distortion is very bright). There is a ton of mids that forced me to take out a couple of dBs of my mids.

    Also noteworthy is that the B string just doesn't sound good. There's something weird, clangy to it.

    I also found that the amount of information -- the way the pickup reproduces what my hands do -- is lower in the Blaze than the SD pickups.

    I guess the Blaze Neck in the bridge doesn't get my stamp of approval in mahogany. :nono:

    Edit: I'm begging to like the Blaze Neck in the bridge. If I pick very strongly, it sounds pretty good and develops interesting harmonic structures. I will try how it sounds in the neck though -- I guess this is where it belongs.
     
  9. Drache713

    Drache713 Contributor

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    Pickup: EMG 707
    Guitar: Schecter Hellraiser

    These pickups give a loud, clean sound. Not muddy, they are very tight and articulate. They are also VERY bright, and while there is enough bass to not have it sound thin i wouldnt say they are warm or dark pickups at all. Great harmonics, very quiet. As you go higher up the neck the high notes start to sing more and smooth out, which i thought was nice with the lows being so edgy and aggressive. The mahogany body of the hellraiser didn't seem to help much, which seems to match the general consensus that emg's are less effected by body woods than passives are. If you're looking for a sound that cuts, has great clarity, and is loud and aggressive then look no further. If you need something a little smoother or warmer/sludgier then I'd advise to look elsewhere, these pickups work great for metal and for when you need a really bright sound but when you need something more mellow and "vintage/classic", these are lacking in that department.
     
  10. Drache713

    Drache713 Contributor

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    Pickup: Dimarzio DS7
    Guitar: Ibanez S7420FMTT, bridge

    First off, yes - this IS a very noisy pickup like others have noticed. Maybe it's just a problem with the 7-string version and not the 6-string, I dunno. Put it anywhere near an electical source and you get buzz and fizzing.

    THAT being said, the tone of this pickup rocks. It's warm, but not dark or bassy/boomy. It's VERY clear and articulate, but without being very bright actually. It also growls really good with the mids and sounds very full but it isn't muddy or sludgy at all. The sound overall is very tight and precise, and yet still warm and smooth. Harmonics are very easy to pull off. It is high output but it's so clear and has such great clarity that it sometimes feel like you're playing a lower output pickup like a PAF or something. The clarity gives it kind of an EMG-ish vibe, and yet not as "crystaline" or metallic as an EMG, much warmer and smoother. This pickup to me kinda seems like a pickup that breaks all the rules, much like the Air Norton (to my ears) - full, warm, and smooth, and yet very tight, articulate, and clear. So far I'm loving it (except for the noise) but it sounds so good I think I'll be able to put up with the noise. :yesway:
     
  11. g3rmanium

    g3rmanium NullPointerException

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    Pickup: DiMarzio D Activator 7 bridge
    Guitar: Ibanez 2027XVV, mahogany, bridge
    Replaced: DiMarzio Blaze neck installed in bridge position

    I Installed this one yesterday and don't have a lot of experience yet. First impressions: Deeper bass than the Blaze, better, more natural sounding B string. Not quite as much treble as the Blaze. More output and a certain peak in the highs, but not too aggressive.
     
  12. Drache713

    Drache713 Contributor

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    Dimarzio D-Activator's, both bridge and neck models

    Installed in S7420 and RG7421

    The D Activator in the bridge definently sounds clear, but in a different way than the DS7. The DA7 sounds much warmer and deeper, and it isn't as crunchy or raw to my ears. It sounds pretty smooth actually without a lot of attack, has tight bass and balanced mids. Very balanced actually.

    In the neck, the DA7 is BRIGHT. Reminds me of the 707 in the neck, i've never played a single coil or a humbucker from hell in the neck, but I would imagine this would get you VERY close to that sound. Lots of snap, twang, and attack, very tight lows and cut mids. Really sings and begs for fast picked runs.
     
  13. LEWY7777777

    LEWY7777777 SS.org Regular

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    Yes The d activator shows me and tells my ears parts of my emg 81-7s emg707's and even the seymour duncan metallivewire7 (HB105s) all @ the same time. Very distinct qualities of each of these pickups nailed by Dimarzio. The sound is truly one to be heard - and sounds like three of the different pickups working at the same time. A sound truly its own, distinct, clever, inspiring.A real mega-smasher. And for the first time a pickup that makes all my right hand techniques fight to control it. (The less used the less fight neccessary)
    Effectively making me play harder than ever before. real sweet palmute sound,Makes the strings feel like spongy when wanted , You can squeeze cool distorted sounds and naunces with your pick and fingertips and sustains when you want not brittle at all . full of life and headroom. It is gonna take me a while to get fully aquanted with this thing. Cleans sound amazing although can jazz out and distort sooner. A rich sounding pickup like the active duncans and bareknuckle affect. Although not an all round pickup many things it can do- a real jazzy character choppy and then sustaining. can boom if you make it boom and chunky too. All this and yet such great articulation. A useful tool for making new creative inspiring sounds. Another great flavor from Dimarzio:flame:
     
  14. NeglectedField

    NeglectedField SS.org Regular

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    Pickup: Dimarzio Evolution 7
    Guitar: Ibanez RG7321 (mahogany, Korean made)
    Replaced: Stock Ibanez AH-7 humbucker

    Good: Tight for rhythm, but great soaring lead sound with that warmth you hear from Vai's guitars. But this is more similar in quality to his Evo 6es than his Blazes. Just the right mix of mids and treble.

    Bad: May lack that trebly crunch for some. Sometimes I kinda get frustrated it doesn't give me the fizzy tight scoopy chug I need, or much in the way of attack, but this might be due to the fact I'm on a pretty light set of strings at the moment. Also I got this due to not being able to get hold of a D-Sonic so naturally I'd be looking for flaws. Oh yes, and having to ream out bigger holes for the mounting posts (so the screws could align) was a real pain and I had to make a number of calls to the UK distributors of Dimarzio for help.

    In short, good all round, but probably slightly more oriented towards lead playing.
     
  15. reguv760

    reguv760 SS.org Regular

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    First time user of this site... was linked from jemsite and I thought I could share my experience with two pickups I replaced the stocks on my UV777GR many years ago since most of the pickups reviewed are installed on rosewood boards... the context for these replacements was to get a more "metal" rhythm and lead tone with increased sustain than the stock Blaze's and I didn't want to spend the money to route a rare guitar for a pair of EMG 707...

    for my first review:

    Evo-7 in bridge position


    Good: High Output full of mids. It's mean and ballsy when you hit powerchords with the B string and screams when you 'solo' - whether it maybe pinch harmonics, whammy dives, bending the high E string to the point-of-breakage, sweeping, tapping and every odd combinations in between. The tone cuts through the mix in a band setting as long there's enough mids in the amp.

    Bad: Not the 'cleanest' sounding pickup through the clean channel. It overdrives the clean but a little tweak in the guitar's volume knob to 6 or 7 resolves this problem. In split mode (middle + Evo neck coil), the tone's bright and crisp, even spunky, that it makes you want to play reggae and maybe light up something...

    Blaze Bridge in neck position


    Good: The purpose of this upgrade was to take the tone of a stock Blaze neck and give it a higher output. I purchased this in 2001 when the Blaze's and Evo-7 were the only aftermarket DiMarzio 7's available. Fortunately, it's a good pickup for doing sweeps in this position...

    Bad: It has 'dark' and bassy tone that doesn't quite overdrive the clean channel... treble in the amp might need to be boosted and bass cut. Once acheived, you can get a decent clean jazz tone.

    Ugly: most of the mids are lost... the low B sounds muffled and it doesn't quite 'scream' like an Evo-7. It picks up harmonics decently on the the higher strings but requires finding a 'sweet' spot. Can't really do fast scale runs as it gets lost in the mix. Currently getting upgraded to D-Activator 7 neck by next month...
     
  16. MAXEDON

    MAXEDON SS.org Regular

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    i was wondering if i should get emg 707's for my rg7321 any suggestions?
     
  17. daemon barbeque

    daemon barbeque Banned

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    Bare Knuckle Pickups Miracle Man 7 string Bridge

    It's used on my 1527 ,with 10/68 Daddario strings.

    Well ,i was dissapointed when i first installed it!I then reailzed that i didnt't adjust the height!
    After adjusting the height ,it became a beast.
    Really Rich harmonics ,somewhat unforgiving but therefore clean voicing.
    Lot's of highs ,Lots of lows and great midds.
    The Powerchords are ripping and with the right amp...really tight!
    The Lead tone is super (i never use Neck PU for leadwork) ,and i have to say ,it kills every "normal production" PU on earth.The quality of this Product is extreme...
    The funny thing is ,alltough i ordered a 7 string PU ,they put a Rotosound set of strings in the box ....but for 6 ahahaha.Anyways..
    If you have the extra cash for a killer product.Try the Miracle Man...The Huge bass and the screaming Highs with extremely complex and rich harmonics makes it one of the best Passives ever!

    Articulation:8

    Harmonics: 10

    Bass: 9

    Midds:6

    Highs:9

    Clarity: 10

    Attitude:11

    Insipiration: 10

    Output: High..a tad less than Duncan Distortion

    Compression:High but enough Dynamics to play lead.

    Build Quality: Perfect.

    Similar products (soundwise) : Duncan Distortion
     
  18. MetalSir

    MetalSir ESP Fanatic

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    My review on EMG81-7 on my nec tru esp SC607..

    i have another esp with emg81 (6 string).. the sounds really the same.. incredible sustain, armonics and frequencies response, due to the nec tru construction and emphasized by the strings-tru body and the bridge (les poul model).. low noise.

    really really cool sound.. i tuned it B standard with blue steel .009\.046 and sounds great!







    can i suggest you this 3 articles by Mr Tillman? =)

    Response Effects of Guitar Pickup Position and Width

    Response Effects of Guitar Pickup Mixing

    Pickup Response Demonstration Applet

    really interesting.. really.. i studied here elettroacustics for my laurea degree course.. really supremus!

    :scream: :scream:


    ps: i really don't know if i posted by following the rules.. i hope so..
     
  19. p0ke

    p0ke 7-string guitard

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    I changed my Ibanez RG1527's stock bridge pickup to a D-activator 7 last tuesday. It wasn't as loud as I had hoped, but still a bit louder than my EMG HZ-H4 on my 6-string. I have to admit that I don't have much experience of other pickups, but I definitely like this one.
    With the stock pickup, everything below D turned muddy, especially chords. With the D-activator, even my low A sounds clear! And it has enough gain to give me a good death/thrash metal sound with my Valveking, that was something the old pickup couldn't do.
    The high notes are too bright for my liking though, but that's no problem because I use the neck-PU for leads anyway :)
     
  20. neroceasar

    neroceasar DEATHMETAL!!!!!!!!!

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    these pickups sound like any other dimarzio but with a lil more omph. The bass is really good and the highs are set just right for good sound thats not harsh. the only complaint i have with them is that they don't take to G tuning well if your tuning to B or A they sound amazingly dark and evil...(METAL!!) my only issue is that i play in g and they sound a little to bassy in that tuning.

    this pickup sounds really good in A tuning and even better it G but in B it sounds a little to thin. the note definition is really good hammer ons pull offs, tapping, ect. sound really good but i wish it had a tinny (really tiny) bit more bass response.
     
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