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Phil O'Keefe

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Everything posted by Phil O'Keefe

  1. I have to agree - I think that neither is really better than the other, although one or the other may work better on a particular instrument.
  2. Oh, I suppose they might since they're both analog synths and someone might decide the Odyssey meets their needs better than a DeepMind they were originally considering, although I think it's just as likely a similar number of people (or more) might want to get one of each. While they're both analog synths, they're really kind of different beasts. Well, IIRC the DeepMind synths have kind of a Juno-esque layout, and they can store and recall presets / patches, while the Odyssey is, well, an Odyssey - one is an original design, while the other appears to be a pretty dead-on recreation (with a few extras added) of the original ARP Odyssey. However, the biggest difference is their polyphony - the Odyssey is duophonic (two note polyphony) at best (and that's using one of its two VCO's per voice - stack them, and it's monophonic) , while the DeepMind synths come in 6 and 12 voice poly versions. They also have more keys (49 vs. 37), and more envelopes - three ADSRs on the DeepMinds, while the Odyssey has a single ADSR and an AR envelope. Oh, and the DeepMinds are also available in a keyboard-less module format too, while the Behringer Odyssey is currently only offered as a keyboard. I'm sure there are some other differences that I'm leaving out, but basically it comes down to what are you looking for - an analog lead / monosynth or an analog polysynth? If you want a lead synth, get the Odyssey, if you want a polysynth, or need to be able to quickly recall all the settings on the synth (IOW, "patches") you'll be more attracted to the DeepMind. Outside of being analog synths, they're really not competing with each other IMO. And again, a lot of keyboardists want to have one of each synth type, and could end up with one of each. I've recently purchased the Behringer Model D, which is basically a Minimoog Model D clone without a keyboard (in a Eurorack style case)... and I plan on grabbing a Behringer Pro-1 as soon as they release it, which will have a similar Eurorack-style case. Behringer also released the K-2, which is essentially a clone of the Korg MS-20. All three of those are much more similar synths than the DeepMind / Odyssey are, yet there's still enough differences between them, and they're classic and desirable enough for me to want to get a couple of them. The Odyssey has more similarities with those three Behringer synths than it does with the DeepMinds IMO, and I think it's more likely that someone might decide to get the Model D, the K-2 or the Pro-1 instead of the Odyssey, but it's really no different than guitars and guitarists - typically they'll want a Les Paul, a Strat, and maybe a semi-hollowbody... and keyboardists want an Odyssey, they want a Pro-One, they want a Mini, and they want a MS-20... and Behringer is giving people the opportunity to have access to those classic tools without having to pay the stupid-silly vintage prices for the originals.
  3. On a side note, do you have a preference Freeman? PB or 80/20?
  4. Little. Yellow. Different? Markbass focuses primarily on only one thing, and that is making products for bassists. From instruments to amps, effects to cabinets, they make just about anything a modern bassist might need - even cables and strings. One of their latest releases is the Italian-designed Markbass Little Mark Vintage bass amp head. Just the name raises a few questions. Is it a vintage-inspired amp? Is it little? It certainly looks cool. Let’s dig in and see if we can find the answers to those questions, and see what else it might have to offer. What You Need To Know Part of the Markbass Gold Line Series, the Markbass Little Mark Vintage uses gold plated circuit board traces and high-quality components in its construction. It’s also part of their Little Mark series of bass amp heads. And yes, it is little, measuring only 10.87” W x 9.84” D x 3.27” H, and weighing only 5.51 pounds. Don’t make the mistake of equating size with power. The Little Mark Vintage uses Mark Proprietary Technology - a proprietary power amp that provides 300W RMS when running into a 8 ohm load, and a whopping 500W RMS when pushing a 4 ohm load, which is the minimum load the amp is capable of handling. The head is mostly black, with lots of yellow graphic accents. The control lettering is also in yellow, and the contrast against the black background makes them easy to read. The knobs have an old school look to them. In fact, the whole head looks like something that wouldn’t be out of place in a 1960’s-era recording studio. The Little Mark Vintage head features a tube in the preamp section, and this is prominently displayed through a yellow-bordered clear window on the front panel. The review unit came with a Ruby Tube 12AX7 installed in a ceramic tube socket. Preamp tubes don’t typically give off a lot of light, so to make things more visually interesting, the tube is backlit with LEDs. But that’s not the only thing that glows - the front panel 1/4” input jack is also illuminated. The input impedance is 500 Kohm, and can accept a maximum input voltage of 9 Vpp. The large Gain control has a range of -46 dB to +23 dB, and a clip LED illuminates when you’re hitting things too hard on the input. Below the tube window you’ll find a fairly standard four band EQ section. The Low EQ control has a center frequency of 68 Hz. The Low Mid is centered at 400 Hz, the High Mid at 2.2 kHz, and the High EQ control is centered at 10 kHz. All four bands provide up to 16 dB of boost or cut. An EQ LED next to the High EQ control shows when the EQ section is active. The EQ can be remotely bypassed with an optional Markworld Dual Footswitch. The switch can also be used to mute the amp completely, which is great for swapping basses and silencing your rig between sets. Kudos to Markbass for putting the jack for the footswitch on the front panel. It’s located out of the way, right below the large rocker-style power switch. You can order the optional switch directly from Markbass for 39 Euros. A generic two-button footswitch can also be used. There’s more to the EQ on the Little Mark Vintage. A smaller knob to the right of the tube window provides the player with three different preset EQ choices - Flat, a setting with boosted highs and lows and cut mids (for a more modern sound) and a third setting labeled Old that engages shelving filter that rolls off the highs for a more vintage-like flavor. These all work in addition to the four main EQ controls. The three-position EQ switch is pre-EQ in the signal path, and also affects the tuner output, effects output and DI output, whether the main EQ is bypassed or not. I’d recommend setting the main EQ section flat, selecting one of the three presets (whichever one gets you closest to the sound you’re after), then adjusting the tone from there with the four main EQ controls. Taking this approach allows you to get things dialed in very quickly. We’re still not done with the front panel. On the other side of the tube window is a single knob Limiter. This is bypassed when the knob is turned down all the way, giving the amp a more vintage-like sound and feel with a bit more grit when you dig in and play hard, and it applies more limiting at progressively lower peak levels as you turn it up towards maximum. The limiter is effective at keeping things clean and taming heavy peaks (such as from popping and slapping) and I like the extra flexibility it offers over the “on or off” or “always on” limiting options of some other amps. The final front panel knob is on the left, just above the illuminated input jack, and it provides output level control for the Markbass Little Mark Vintage bass amp head’s DI (direct output) XLR jack, which is located on the rear panel. The DI has a dedicated transformer, and I thought the sound quality from it was a step above what I’ve come to expect from the inexpensive line outputs on some other bass amps. The Line Out also has two dedicated switches, and can be sourced pre or post EQ while the second switch is a hum-busting ground lift switch. Also on the back are 1/4” send and return jacks for the built-in effects loop. A dedicated 1/4” Tuner Out jack is also provided, so you can leave your tuner plugged in all the time while keeping it out of the signal path. Both a Speakon and a 1/4” output jack are provided. Again, the amp can drive an 8 ohm or 4 ohm load (or anything in-between, such as the 6 ohm load presented by the Markbass 6x10" cabinet), but you should never go below the 4 ohm limit, which means you can run two 8 ohm cabinets, or a single 6 ohm or 4 ohm cabinet. A reasonably quiet cooling fan and combo IEC power receptacle / fuse holder round out the rear panel. An IEC power cable is included with the amp. An optional Markworld amp bag is also available for storage and transporting your Little Mark Vintage head. You can even operate the amp while leaving it inside the bag. Limitations No rack ears are included, but Markbass does offer optional rack ears for the Little Mark series heads. They sell them on their e-commerce site for 13 Euros per pair. The Little Mark Vintage is designed to be used only in the country of purchase, and there’s no way to switch the line voltage for use in other countries. It’s available in various configurations for different national electrical systems, but the voltage is factory preset according to the region of sale and can’t be user-configured. There are no front panel switches for muting the amp and bypassing the EQ, although these functions are available when using the optional footswitch. Conclusions This isn’t your typical “vintage” type amp. While it’s designed to be able to recreate vintage style tones, Markbass says they wanted to create an amp that allows you to find your own ideal tone, regardless of your musical style, and the Markbass Little Mark Vintage certainly has all the tools you need to dial up a variety of great bass tones built right into it. The three-position EQ preset control and four-knob EQ offer a large degree of tonal adjustability, especially when used together, and you can coax both modern and vintage-style tones from them with ease. The Limiter control is also very useful here - bypassing it gives you a more old-school sound, diming it gives you a more modern response, and you can dial up just as much of it as you want or need for the situation at hand. The onboard transformer-equipped DI will also come in handy for many users, both in the recording studio and to feed the FOH mixer at larger musical venues, making an external DI box unnecessary. Not that you’ll have to plug it into the board to get PA assistance in many situations - with up to 500W of power on tap (depending on the speaker cabinet impedance), there’s plenty of power available here for onstage use. While the recording engineer side of me long ago tired of seeing LED-backlit “glowing tubes” on display in rack mount studio equipment, like many players I appreciate the tonal contributions and harmonics you can get from a good tube preamp, and if it looks cool to the audience by being prominently displayed, that’s just an added bonus. Regardless of your personal opinions about such displays, it’s really hard to argue with the sound of this amp. On the other hand, the lit-up input jack is not just flashy, but quite practical too, and will really be appreciated by players who need to swap basses in mid-set on a dark stage. The optional footswitch’s ability to mute the amp is also useful in such situations, although I wish a front panel switch for this purpose had also been included. The control layout, and the old-time look of the knobs also add a bit of vintage vibe to the appearance, and the large knobs are practical too - you’ll know right away where the volume control is. The light weight and compact dimensions of the Markbass Little Mark Vintage head may be far from vintage-spec, but they will still be appreciated by a wide variety of players - old-school and modern. Touring bassists will appreciate the ability to easily take along their own amp, and just ask for a backline cabinet instead of having to rely on (and dial up a decent sound on) whatever beat-up amp the venue decides to provide them with. Having the ability to take your own amp with you is very important to being able to consistently get “your” sound - and the lightweight, well-featured and powerful Markbass Little Mark Vintage bass amp head is very well equipped to help you get that job done. -HC- Want to discuss the Markbass Little Mark Vintage Bass Amp Head or have questions or comments about this review? Then head over to this thread in the Bass forum right here on Harmony Central and join the discussion! Resources Markbass Little Mark Vintage Bass Amp Head ($799.99 "street") Markbass product web page You can purchase the Markbass Little Mark Vintage Bass Amp Head from: Guitar Center Musician's Friend _________________________________________________________________ Phil O'Keefe is a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer / producer and the Senior Editor of Harmony Central. He has engineered, produced and performed on countless recording sessions in a diverse range of styles, with artists such as Alien Ant Farm, Jules Day, Voodoo Glow Skulls, John McGill, Michael Knott and Alexa's Wish. He is a former featured monthly columnist for EQ magazine, and his articles and product reviews have also appeared in Keyboard, Electronic Musician and Guitar Player magazines.
  5. Cool - thanks for pointing that out! I didn’t have time to look at all the pages / items yet...
  6. I wouldn't mind picking a few more up (I probably have four of them already), but every time I've been there and remembered to look for them, they were out. Still, if you can find them in stock, they're often very inexpensive - well under ten bucks each when they're on sale...
  7. I just saw an adjustable-height / width, rolling garment rack on Woot. It was under $25, so I thought I'd get one. https://home.woot.com/offers/adjustable-rolling-garment-rack-3?ref=w_cnt_wp_0_5 Wait - this is a recording forum, right? How is this possibly on-topic? Here's my thinking. I'm a big fan of using heavy, quilted moving blankets for spot treatment around instruments and for knocking down unwanted reflections. In the past, I've often just used one or two mic stands with boom arms, and configured them in a T-shape, then draped the moving blankets over them as needed... which can work, but the mic stands are a little lightweight for the job; you're a bit limited in how you can adjust them, and once in place, they're not easy to move and reconfigure without starting over. I figure the garment rack should be able to serve a similar purpose, but it might be a bit heavier-duty. Plus, it has wheels, so you should be able to move it and reposition it easier. At least that's the theory... I'll report back after it arrives and I've had a chance to see how it works. Stay tuned!
  8. Yes, you can connect the P125 to an iPad, but you'll need an Apple Lightning to USB 3 camera connection kit in order to do so. https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MK0W2AM/A/lightning-to-usb-3-camera-adapter Yamaha has a helpful PDF page up that goes into everything you can do over the USB port. Here's a link: https://usa.yamaha.com/files/download/other_assets/4/329494/computer_en_rm_m0.pdf I recently reviewed the P121, which is a 73-key version of your P125. If you'd like to check out my review, here's a link:
  9. It's available for Mac, PC and iPad. It's a free download, but you'll need to have firmware version 1.0.2 installed in your UNO Drum in order to use it.
  10. Looks like the estate is selling a lot of Walter's old gear... and he had quite a bit of cool stuff. https://www.julienslive.com/m/view-auctions/catalog/id/312/?page=1&fbclid=IwAR0AFXOKoWt-Hdb9IETWP9ICJ51in0iev4eWwd9cqqVUWHg2dALSA5V_IcA
  11. From whatever location you have it stored on your computer, straight into the box where you enter in text for a post. Grab the icon for the image, drag it into the box, and the forum software will upload it and insert it into the message / post automatically in just a few seconds, depending on the image size and your connection speed.
  12. You should be able to just drag it into the text entry box if it is a standard format image file...
  13. Like a rainbow in the dark… It’s 1977 and a 15 year old Northern Irish guitarist walks into a shop in Belfast and asks if he can order a Gibson Les Paul from America. Instead of the gold Standard that he wanted, he’s surprised six months later when the dealer tells him a wine red Deluxe has arrived instead. Undaunted, he takes the guitar home. That night he dulls the finish with sandpaper (because he’s “never liked guitars that were too new and shiny”), and he soon has it refinished locally in a matte black color. The guitarist’s name is Vivian Campbell, who of course is now world-famous for his work with Dio, Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy, and Last In Line, among others. A few years after purchasing his Les Paul, he was asked to audition for Dio, and soon after that he found himself in the studio at Sound City in LA, recording the band’s classic 1983 debut album Holy Diver, using that very same Les Paul for all the tracks on the record. Now Epiphone (which like Harmony Central, is a Gibson brand) has released a new guitar that was inspired by that legendary instrument. Vivian refers to his original by its serial number (72987537), which he rattles off with the fluency of someone reciting their own phone number or birthdate. Let’s see what makes it so special. What You Need To Know Designed to recreate 72987537 as it appeared in late 1982 as closely as possible, the Epiphone Vivian Campbell Les Paul Holy Diver is made in China and is very similar to Vivian’s own customized Les Paul Deluxe. All the usual Les Paul features are here. The body is mahogany with a maple cap, and the guitar has the normal 24 3/4” Les Paul scale length. The top of the body and the fretboard edges both feature single layer cream-colored binding. The glued-in, three-piece, hand-set maple neck is also typical of what you’ll find on a late ‘70s Les Paul Deluxe. The Holy Diver Les Paul is equipped with an Indian Laurel fingerboard. This looks somewhat similar to Indian rosewood, but it’s a bit more walnut-like in other respects; it’s a bit browner in shade and a little denser and less oily feeling than rosewood. It’s the first Indian Laurel fingerboard I’ve played, but I like it. The neck has a 12” fingerboard radius and features trapezoid inlays and 22 medium-jumbo frets, as well as side position dots on the binding. The neck profile is what Epiphone calls “Vivian”, and is not dissimilar to the ’70s era Deluxes I’ve played.The fingerboard is 1.68” wide at the brass nut, and measurers 0.786” deep at the first fret, building up to 0.94” thick at the 12th fret, with a somewhat rounded C-shaped profile. It’s a very comfortable neck to play, and one that will suit a wide variety of hand sizes. Instead of the “clipped corner” headstock design you’ll find on other Epiphone Les Pauls, the Vivian Campbell Holy Diver Les Paul has a sloped-shoulder “dovewing” style headstock that’s similar in shape to the one on the Epiphone DC Pro. Being the owner of an Epi Les Paul since the mid-1990’s and having grown accustomed to its headstock shape, I was at first a bit concerned about whether or not a dovewing headstock might look out of place on a Les Paul, but I have to admit that it’s grown on me. In fact, I now prefer the look of it over the older-style headstock. The headstock has a bullet-style truss rod cover and the expected Les Paul signature, and a pearloid-looking 1960’s era Epiphone logo. The die-cast tuners aren’t stamped with any manufacturer info. They have a 16:1 ratio, making accurate tuning easy. The tuning stability is fine too, which means more time playing and less time tuning. The neck has a volute on the back, just like the original. The back of the headstock is stamped with the guitar’s individual serial number, but also has 72987537 stamped into it too, in honor of the guitar it was designed to replicate. You’ll also find a reproduction of Vivian Campbell’s signature located here too. The Holy Diver Les Paul comes with an Epiphone LockTone Tune-o-Matic bridge and a Stopbar tailpiece. The color is what Epiphone call “Black Aged Gloss” but while there’s a bit of gloss to it, I’d personally call it matte black. Regardless of what you call it, the guitar has the same finish, front and back, as well as on the back of the neck, while the rear control cavity covers are a rust-brown color. Instead of the mini-humbuckers of a standard Deluxe, 72987537 was modified, and sported DiMarzio X2N pickups in the early 1980s. The Epiphone Vivian Campbell Holy Diver Les Paul also features a pair of these dual metal blade-polepiece, black open-coil, high-output ceramic magnet pickups, mounted into cream pickup rings that fit in nicely with the look of the guitar’s binding and white pickup selector switch knob. The DiMarzio pickups are some of the hottest passive pickups on the market, and measure 15.83 Kohm DC resistance and have a whopping 510mV output. Since 72987537’s original toggle switch washer broke off before the Holy Diver LP was recorded, this guitar also comes with no pickup selector switch ring, or “poker chip”, as they’re sometimes called. This is not only historically accurate, but fits right in with the guitar’s stripped-down (there’s also no pickguard), no-nonsense aesthetic. The usual Les Paul two volume knob, two tone knob control configuration is still here, with some non-stock, yet very cool looking knurled brass control knobs mounted on the shafts of the Korean-made 500k Jin Sung pots. The interior wiring is point to point and the soldering is reasonably clean. The guitar uses .022uF capacitors for the tone pots. The output jack plate is brass, and mounted on the side of the guitar. The strap buttons are chrome, and a set of chrome Epiphone strap locks are included. The guitar comes from the factory set up for, and strung with D’Addario .010 - .046 gauge strings. The Epiphone Vivian Campbell Holy Diver Les Paul outfit comes with a Epiphone EpiLite Les Paul case. While it’s still a “soft” case, this is a step up from your typical “gig bag”, with more rigidity, increased padding, and a more form-fitting design. A Certificate of Authenticity is also included with the guitar. The Epiphone Limited Edition Vivian Campbell Holy Diver Les Paul comes with a limited lifetime guarantee. Limitations The high-output DiMarzio X2N pickups may be a bit much for some people. Having said that, if you’re considering at this guitar you’re probably a rocker or a shredder, and this guitar, and these pickups, are great for both styles. In fact, they’re more versatile and balanced-sounding than I was expecting, given their (now personally confirmed) reputation for having such high output. Only time will tell in terms of how the public will react to the change in headstock shape, but no matter what your initial reaction, give it a bit of time - your opinion, like mine, may change. Conclusions Looks can sometimes be deceiving, and they’re always subjective, but the Epiphone Vivian Campbell Holy Diver Les Paul looks mean, aggressive, no-nonsense, and rather cool to this reviewer, and that description also extends to its sound. The DiMarzio X2N pickups are flamethrowers - they’ve got a ton of output that can easily drive dirt pedals, and even mid-gain amps (like the JCM800’s Vivian used in the 1980s) into heavy distortion. They’ll hit your amp (or overdrive pedals) hard, and they sound great for rock and metal tones. They also sound surprisingly smooth and balanced, and they’re not at all dark-sounding - there’s plenty of mids and highs; if anything, the bass end seems very slightly less-forward by comparison. The classic maple-capped body and the 3-piece maple neck probably also contribute to some of the brightness this guitar exhibits too. Fortunately, this guitar can also be tamed by rolling off your volume controls, and I was surprised by how good it sounds for clean tones too. The neck is extremely comfortable to play. The action and intonation were both good from the factory, and the frets all were well-dressed too. I also really like the cosmetics. The brass knobs, brass nut, and matte black paint, along with the open-coil X2N DiMarzio pickups, and the lack of extra plastic (pickguard and pickup switch washer) all work well together, and make it look mean and menacing without the over-the-top pointedness of some “metal” guitars. Even the change in headstock shape quickly became familiar, and after a short time with the guitar I grew to like it even more than the headstock on my own personal Epiphone Les Paul, which I’ve now had for over 23 years. While I’ve never personally played it, 72987537 must be one hell of a guitar if the new Epiphone Vivian Campbell Holy Diver is any indication. I can understand why it’s the one instrument from his collection that Vivian says he’d grab in the event of a fire. The guitar still inspires him today, and Vivian hopes that Epiphone’s version will inspire other players and fuel their passion to learn and to create great music. It’s certainly a high-quality guitar that oozes with inspirational potential. But don’t be the last in line to go try one - this is a limited edition, so if you wait too long, you could miss out on your chance to pick up one of these really cool guitars. -HC- Want to discuss the Epiphone Limited Edition Vivian Campbell Holy Diver Les Paul or have questions or comments about this review? Then head over to this thread in the Electric Guitar forum right here on Harmony Central and join the discussion! Resources Epiphone Limited Edition Vivian Campbell Holy Diver Les Paul Outfit ($1,249.00 MSRP, $849.00 "street") Epiphone’s product web page You can purchase the Epiphone Limited Edition Vivian Campbell Holy Diver Les Paul from: Sweetwater Guitar Center Sam Ash zZounds _________________________________________________________________ Phil O'Keefe is a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer / producer and the Senior Editor of Harmony Central. He has engineered, produced and performed on countless recording sessions in a diverse range of styles, with artists such as Alien Ant Farm, Jules Day, Voodoo Glow Skulls, John McGill, Michael Knott and Alexa's Wish. He is a former featured monthly columnist for EQ magazine, and his articles and product reviews have also appeared in Keyboard, Electronic Musician and Guitar Player magazines.
  14. Agreed, with the possible exception of the quality of the setup and of the frets / fret dressing.
  15. I've played older Epi Explorers and I thought they were fine... but I haven't tried the ESP LTD you're referring to. I did do a Google search and looked it up... I wouldn't really call it an "Explorer" - it's Explorer-esque, but the body and headstock do have some differences that would bother me a bit if I was really looking for an Explorer. YMMV. As far as build quality, basically it comes down to the specific models and the individual guitars IMO. Some of the older M.I.C. stuff was nice, and some wasn't all that great but they've gotten better on-average as time has gone on. Some of the earlier Indonesian-built stuff was pretty horrible... but I've also played some very good Indonesian-built guitars too. Even some of the early MIJ instruments were on the junky side of the low end, and Japan's quality levels and guitar-building expertise increased the longer they kept at it. IMO Korea, China, Vietnam and Indonesia have all taken similar paths to improvement overall, with some of those countries benefitting from partnerships and shared expertise with other countries (USA, Japan) who have been making electric guitars for much longer, which may have shortened their own developmental timelines for making quality instruments. Ideally, if it's at all possible, you really should try to play both of the models you're considering and decide for yourself.
  16. Yes, they’re totally trying to take advantage of you. You should consult an entertainment lawyer ASAP, and I wouldn’t sign or agree to anything until you talk to one first.
  17. I certainly don’t mean to imply that they’ve made poor quality mics, but it is true that when they first started up, they were known for their affordability. And even today, they still offer more than one high quality yet quite affordable product, such as the M5’s I mentioned and linked to my review of in the TF-5 review. At $199 per pair, they are what I consider to be quite affordable. But while they’re nice little mics, they’re not in the same league as the TF-5’s are IMHO.
  18. User reviews still exist. We have no plans to do away with them. There is a link to them on the menu bar (next to the Forums link) near the top of the page... https://www.harmonycentral.com/reviews/ The password retrieval / reset should work now too, as long as you still have access to the email address we have on file / that was used when you signed up. Anyone having a hard time getting logged in with their old account can create a new one, then send me a PM with your old info and I’ll help get things restored for you.
  19. I moved this to the Electric Guitar forum - it is the more appropriate place to ask your question, and you should get more replies here.
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