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Unread 02-02-2010, 04:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

Now for the tone. after I retubed & biased the amp I checked out the clean channel first. Nice crisp - clear Marshal cleans - you can also add a boost to the clean channel - it also has a master resonance for a tight or loose feel + master reverb & presence. Next the lead channel - lead 1 is decent - it has classic gain - you can get more saturation with the crunch balance - if you add the boost it sounds really thin & fuzzy. This amp reminds me of a poor mans DSL - in my opinion the clean channel was the best - I found no sonic surprises hidden in this box. It lacked that Marshall punch, feel & tone. It does have good volume for a 50 watt amp. In my honest opinion I would rather buy a used DSL or TSL. Is this something that I would keep? probably not. I would recommend trying this out in a music store before buying. I was disappointed that It had (2) bad tubes & it blew a fuse within the 1st (3) minutes of use. Marshall needs to have more qualtiy control
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Unread 02-02-2010, 07:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

Sincerely, what did u expect from an amp made in Vietnam?
I'd rather get a Bugera - no I'm not going to get either....
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Unread 02-02-2010, 02:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

I agree but you have to keep an open mind & try things out - with a closed mind you will never discover anything new - just one mans opinion
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Unread 02-02-2010, 10:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

FWIW ...i thought the same about this amp , it just does not stack up to the
others in this price range etc . and that pains me to say cause i'm a huge Marshall fan !!
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Unread 02-02-2010, 11:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

I tried this thing out for about 25 mins the other day and honesty i liked the clean channel, but just could not get the OD channel to do what i wanted at all. This amp disappointed me... There are alot nicer amps for that price..
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Unread 08-22-2010, 08:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

I was thinken to buy the MA50H but i read now a few negative things about the amp.
What amp do you suggest in this price.

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Unread 08-22-2010, 08:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

I forgot what the MA amps cost, but I do remember liking the cleans but finding myself cringing at the overdriven/gain channels. I won't exaggerate: I hated it.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 04:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

I purchased the MA50H. After chucking the stock preamp and power tubes and replacing all with JJ 12AX7A in V1 12AX7 for stage two and phase inverter, EL 34 power tubes and a good bias, it wakes up nicely kicking into a 1960A with G12T-75s or my 1960A with G12M Greenbacks. More mid punch with the 75s, good 'looseness' with Greenbacks. Tried KT77s, but was way to bassy, so went back to 34s. Now it doesn't have the crunch of my JCM800 master volume, but it's not bad. The clean channel is good, with pretty fair definition. The lead channel is workable with the new tubes and bias, not fizzy. I have had no problems with mine. Has a five year warranty. Yea, it was made in 'Nam, but sems these days, China and other Asian lands seem to be the place us poor working lads can get an amp without breaking the bank. Sure I'd love to see American and English amp makers building decently built affordable amps in their respective lands, But it appears big government and high costs seem to force these companies to go where they get big tax breaks from Asian governments to set up shop and create jobs, albeit a cheap labor force(fair QC, but improving)and also creating higher profit and the likelihood of these jobs never returning. But politics ain't my game, music is. So I don't care if it comes from Papua, New Guinea, as long as it works well and I can squeeze tone out of it, with a bit of tweaking. These amps work. As for the long haul we'll see. I've had it out on three gigs so far, no probs.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 04:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

Fair write up. Thanks.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 04:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

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Now for the tone. after I retubed & biased the amp I checked out the clean channel first. Nice crisp - clear Marshal cleans - you can also add a boost to the clean channel - it also has a master resonance for a tight or loose feel + master reverb & presence. Next the lead channel - lead 1 is decent - it has classic gain - you can get more saturation with the crunch balance - if you add the boost it sounds really thin & fuzzy. This amp reminds me of a poor mans DSL - in my opinion the clean channel was the best - I found no sonic surprises hidden in this box. It lacked that Marshall punch, feel & tone. It does have good volume for a 50 watt amp. In my honest opinion I would rather buy a used DSL or TSL. Is this something that I would keep? probably not. I would recommend trying this out in a music store before buying. I was disappointed that It had (2) bad tubes & it blew a fuse within the 1st (3) minutes of use. Marshall needs to have more qualtiy control
I have a SNEAKING suspicion the MA is a re modeled 900 ala DR. the clips i've heard were VERY much the same other than the newer version with the a$$ bleeding gain boost.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 04:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

I've been using mine since January gigging almost every weekend. Holding up fantastic and sounds AWESOME!!!!!
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Unread 11-09-2010, 12:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

MA series are not your typical "out of the box" great Marshall sound, they require a bit of tweaking and overdrive pedal in effects loop as clean boost to get rid of that fizzy gain ( I have no idea why this works, my SD-1 set for clean boost just kills all the fizzy top end and makes it smooth ), and they are great pedal platform for people that use distortion from pedals. After those tweaks I think that sound improves dramatically, and MA begins to shine, I mean it's a full valve Marshall, there has to be a good sound somewhere inside.
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Unread 11-09-2010, 12:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

@ Nebulozny. There is good tone in there. I have a Super Lead 100, a JCM800 master volume, a JMP and an MA 50H. Now it's easy to say these are junk because they are not a true English built Marshall. they are made in Vietnam, the same place the awful MG series comes from. Early Marshalls were not always the most reliable, with the sometimes very naughty and unreliable Dagnall transformers, varying sourced components. This is why it is sometimes said no two Marshalls sound the same. My JMP is gorgeous sounding, but was a naughty boy now and again, so I stopped taking him out on gigs, until I had him gone through, to find out, he had problems with the power supply and this was from the factory years ago when he was built! Now, after a good refurbish to the power supply, he behaves nicely on gigs again. The MA appears to work well after re-tubing and biasing. Have a chat with Bob at eurotubes.com. I use mine with minimal effects and it seems to be pretty good. At 700.00US, I think they are a bit pricey for 50 watts, but better than a Bugera, that have a nasty tendency to take out their own power transformers and are highly unreliable. Bugera seems to copy the Peavey 5150 and 6505 designs with the 6260 and the 6262, and the 333XL seems to copy the the XXX. And now they seem to be wandering into Mesa Boogie territory with the 85 watt Magician. Trouble is they don't do it very well, and how they've avoided lawsuits is truly beyond me. But as for the Marshall MA50H, I've had no trouble so far, knock wood.
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Unread 11-09-2010, 03:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

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@ Nebulozny. There is good tone in there. I have a Super Lead 100, a JCM800 master volume, a JMP and an MA 50H. Now it's easy to say these are junk because they are not a true English built Marshall. they are made in Vietnam, the same place the awful MG series comes from. Early Marshalls were not always the most reliable, with the sometimes very naughty and unreliable Dagnall transformers, varying sourced components. This is why it is sometimes said no two Marshalls sound the same. My JMP is gorgeous sounding, but was a naughty boy now and again, so I stopped taking him out on gigs, until I had him gone through, to find out, he had problems with the power supply and this was from the factory years ago when he was built! Now, after a good refurbish to the power supply, he behaves nicely on gigs again. The MA appears to work well after re-tubing and biasing. Have a chat with Bob at eurotubes.com. I use mine with minimal effects and it seems to be pretty good. At 700.00US, I think they are a bit pricey for 50 watts, but better than a Bugera, that have a nasty tendency to take out their own power transformers and are highly unreliable. Bugera seems to copy the Peavey 5150 and 6505 designs with the 6260 and the 6262, and the 333XL seems to copy the the XXX. And now they seem to be wandering into Mesa Boogie territory with the 85 watt Magician. Trouble is they don't do it very well, and how they've avoided lawsuits is truly beyond me. But as for the Marshall MA50H, I've had no trouble so far, knock wood.
I would not mind to try a MA series, but the Bugera's are sh*t as far as quality goes. I am going to wait a while and see if the MA series will prove to be reliable. I am thinking they could be a good modable platform??

The drawback is that a used DSL will cost less so I will probably shoot for that...
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Unread 11-09-2010, 04:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

Mine doesn't require a pedal in the effects loop to get rid of fizz. Mine sounds great all by itself and has been very reliable. Mike Estes of Blackfoot (also played in Lynyrd Skynyrd among other things) thought it sounded great when my band opened up for them a couple of months ago!
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Unread 11-10-2010, 08:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

@kingbee. I agree. I'm not getting that fizzy sound. The only thing in my FX loop is a digital delay. This amp is rather picky about OD pedals on the clean channel. Did not like the SD-1, TS9, Sparkle Drive. Very thin. Liked the Zendrive, Mosferatu and the Fulldrive II. But I don't use a whole lot of effects anyways. The only thing is I'm waiting to see how she does down the road. I have a Crate V50 made in 'Nam. All I did to that was swap out the crap speakers and put two Celestion V30s, new tubes and bias(they run a little hot). I've been using that thing constantly for six years without a hiccup. So we'll see.
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Unread 11-10-2010, 08:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

Palomino V50, I should say
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Unread 11-10-2010, 08:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

I'd like to play through an MA head sometime, to see how they work for me. I've read a lot of mixed reviews on them
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Unread 11-11-2010, 12:29 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

That's weird, how come I have that fizzy thing going on in boost channel
Well anyway, SD-1 cured that, I will maybe swap speakers for some better ones, all in all I am happy with the sound I have now and my MA is working for 8 months without problems.
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Unread 11-11-2010, 12:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

.
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Unread 11-11-2010, 03:37 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

I just want to say that a MARSHALL'S a MARSHALL, no matter where made. I'd like to hear a review of the MA from someone using an old guitar with really dynamic pickups. I think this series, just like every series, has the potential to be great amplifiers with some tweaking. Much like the DSL series wehre the owners like to mod and the TSL series where some of the owners like to run NOS tubes, pedals, etc... I think with the right amount of tweaking you could get this amp to fit your sound.
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Unread 11-11-2010, 08:44 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

+1
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Unread 11-11-2010, 11:14 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

@Landshark. That's pretty much my point. The MA50H is pretty good sounding altogether. Has a very good, crisp clean channel. Hefty transformers. I've had good luck with it. I'm using a '90 Les Paul Standard with the original 20 year old humbuckers, so it's pretty dynamic. Don't know if I would run such a high level effect such as a SD-1 or other OD pedals through the effects loop as Nebulozny does, I think I would stick with lower level delays and modulation effects, but if that's what's working for him, more power. Tell us how you really feel Lespaulnmarshall, lol. If you look at the English made Kerry King sig. JCM800 'Beast', the pot shafts are plastic and not nutted to the front panel. A bit skimpy for an amp that sold for 1800US. These also have plastic shafts, but are nutted to the front panel. I would take caution when moving it about or invest in a road case if you plan on having it out alot. Owning older Marshalls I could take the same attitude, but trying new things broadens your horizons. Now the MGs are pretty bad, I have tried them. But I have also tried Valvestates that were not too bad at all. I suppose you can pick these apart and find fault with them or just outright say they are crap, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. Marshall gives a five year warranty with these, so I've registered it. Hopefully won't need it, but nice insurance to have. I've been putting through its paces and so far, not one problem. Not a big fan of the orange LEDs lighting the inside, reminds me of the Crate Blue DooDoo BV120Hs, a solid front would have been fine, but I can get past it, it's not a flaw. I will be doing some recording with it in the next month and will post links. But to me, they are not crap, a little expensive, but time will bear that out. Good amp.
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Unread 11-11-2010, 12:39 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

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@Landshark. That's pretty much my point. The MA50H is pretty good sounding altogether. Has a very good, crisp clean channel. Hefty transformers. I've had good luck with it. I'm using a '90 Les Paul Standard with the original 20 year old humbuckers, so it's pretty dynamic. Don't know if I would run such a high level effect such as a SD-1 or other OD pedals through the effects loop as Nebulozny does, I think I would stick with lower level delays and modulation effects, but if that's what's working for him, more power. Tell us how you really feel Lespaulnmarshall, lol. If you look at the English made Kerry King sig. JCM800 'Beast', the pot shafts are plastic and not nutted to the front panel. A bit skimpy for an amp that sold for 1800US. These also have plastic shafts, but are nutted to the front panel. I would take caution when moving it about or invest in a road case if you plan on having it out alot. Owning older Marshalls I could take the same attitude, but trying new things broadens your horizons. Now the MGs are pretty bad, I have tried them. But I have also tried Valvestates that were not too bad at all. I suppose you can pick these apart and find fault with them or just outright say they are crap, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. Marshall gives a five year warranty with these, so I've registered it. Hopefully won't need it, but nice insurance to have. I've been putting through its paces and so far, not one problem. Not a big fan of the orange LEDs lighting the inside, reminds me of the Crate Blue DooDoo BV120Hs, a solid front would have been fine, but I can get past it, it's not a flaw. I will be doing some recording with it in the next month and will post links. But to me, they are not crap, a little expensive, but time will bear that out. Good amp.
Why not just take the LEDs out then, they just screw in and out
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Unread 11-11-2010, 02:18 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

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Why not just take the LEDs out then, they just screw in and out
I may, but I'll leave it be for now, as I mentioned, it not a flaw. As LEDs don't generate heat, unless you intensify and focus the beam with collimating lenses(science project I did way back when). The orange comes from an orangen rubber sheath placed over the LED, just like the Crate BV, so I'll just put some covers on them and see how that works, and see if the tube glow turns me on.
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Unread 11-11-2010, 02:18 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

@GoldtopSam
I actually heard about this "boost in effects loop" trick from MA's designer Steve Dawson who is really helpful and cool,on another forum though.

One thing that works very well with the MA amps is using a pedal in the loop for a solo boost (unlike the Vintage Modern which already has high power amp drive designed in for Plexi performance). A clean boost or EQ pedal or similar will get your solos soaring

Well if the man designed the thing, I think he knows it's safe to run boost there, and I enjoy the sound very much. My SD-1 is set like in the picture below that was taken 3 months ago, i run Eq in front of the amp now for ovedrive.


And here is a clip of my sound that I have with this setup.

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Unread 11-11-2010, 04:21 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

Boost yes! I use a Xotic RC Booster so lead parts stand out. No overdrive though, only a Carbon Copy Delay.
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Unread 11-12-2010, 12:19 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

Yeah, I use sD-1 as boost, you see on the settings gain is on zero and volume full.
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Unread 11-12-2010, 02:19 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

JCM have you tried it trough Greenbacks? The speakers does change the tone alot more than you think.
Nebu, Santiago desinged this one.
Fenderfrombender, there are alot of amps at that price, VHT, Peavey 6505+ combo,
go and try them all out.
Personally me, I would try finding a secondhand Marshall, like a 1987x, JMP or JVM VM for the same price, but I've never tried the MA, I've only heard guys play with them live a few times and the cleans were good, but you know, not everyone understands how to get the best results from eq, pickup heigt etc.
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Unread 11-12-2010, 05:26 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall MA50 Review * Tone

I tried one a couple of weeks back. I was actually after something very different but the sales guy put a good few amps in front of me to try so I thought what the heck.

It kinda reminded me of the TSL602 I had some time ago. The cleans were nice but nothing really special but the crunch/lead channels needed a lot of work to get anything out of them. That said, when my TSL ran through another 2 X 12 with V30s, it turned the amp into a totally different beast and I suspect the MA would be similar.

On the subject of Bugera, I spotted a 333xl head and 4 X 12 cab, brand new on ebay. They wanted about £450 for it. I was ampless at the time so getting a little desperate and most of the reviews were along the lines of “If it lasts the first month then it’ll probably last forever”

Anyway, went round this guys house and there it was in all its glory. Looked OK and it definitely looked new. I took my Ibanez 350dx to plug in. The guy said “There you go...” After a few long seconds of silence I ask if I could try it before I buy. “Oh yeh.. I’ll go get a power and cab lead”. Like I was going to walk away without even seeing it switched on.

Got it all up and running and started putting it through its paces. Must admit, it sounded good. 5 minutes went by then ...... “Pooooof”. Massive loud clicking noise coming from the cab, distinct smell of burning Circuit board coupled with some grey smoke.

Needless to say, I unplugged my axe, thanked them for their time and left feeling very relieved that I didn’t find this problem a couple of weeks down the line after buying it. This put me off Bugera for good which is a shame because it was fast growing on me after just five minutes of playing.

Anyway, sorry to hijack your thread. I was actually looking for a bedroom amp with as much gain as possible and ended up with my Blacktar HT-5 with 2 1 X10 cabs. Awesome little amp head. Lot’s of fun so the MA was never really a contender. What I can say though is after the hard ship I had with my TSL, if I don’t get somewhere near the sound I want after a couple of minutes then I leave alone. As soon as I struck the first chord through my 900 I loved it.

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