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  #1  
Old 02-12-2012, 04:57 AM
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Default Single ply batters

For the last 30 years or so I've used 2-ply batters. Coated or clear, Emperor or G2 with clear Ambassador resos.

Last year I bought new heads top and bottom and got coated Emperors over coated Ambassadors. This was pretty experimental as far as I was concerned since I'd only ever used clear resos. I had just seen a Benny Greb clinic and that's what he was using, and I already knew that's what Bonham used, so I thought, "Why not?"

Turns out I didn't care for the extra warmth / dampening that the coated resos gave, so I got the idea for another experiment: go back to clear Ambassador resos, but try using the coated Ambassadors on the batters. Nothing too groundbreaking, so I made this head change last night.

Wow, I may never go back to 2-ply heads! I couldn't believe how much more snappy and full the drums sounded. I guess it makes sense since there's that heavy muted characteristic of a 2-ply head. It's funny in all these years I never tried running single ply batters. Who knew?!
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:02 AM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

The only reason I use G2's instead of G1's is durability.

Love the open tones.
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:03 AM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

I haven't either up to now but am waiting for the Evans G14 single ply 14 mil heads to come out before I buy new ones.
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:04 AM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

That is surprising that you have never tried singles on top.
Single ply heads were the norm when I was growing up.
I prefer them to double too.
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

I think the single ply not only sound better, they play better. They have better response and rebound and they have great tone throughout a very wide (ppp to sfz) dynamic range. I never liked the feel of 2-ply heads. They feel like I am playing a milk carton.
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2012, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

I have two ply Emperor's on one limited edition kit, and coated Ambassador's on the other one. I like the two ply's much better. The singles are just too open sounding, and lack the attack. The singles would be good for Jazz and soft playing. Not much good for Rock in my opinion.
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Form follows function. They now obviously have more options in manufacturing and films - making thicker one ply heads, getting the "best of both worlds" as many drummers comment. 2 ply could be in the dust bin on drum head history? After all, If you want more fullness, depth, volume (this covers most of us) and durability(the one nut 2 plus could crack) - 2 ply heads have become rather pointless, imho.
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

I'm sure you knew this, but was just not ready to switch until now. I'm donating new batters to my Church for their kit and chose to get pinstripes for now because I feel the kids aren't ready for open sounding toms. Maybe next year ...
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

.../

You did what I've almost done the last 6 months of thinking about it. Glad to hear it worked out great for you.

..../
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2012, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I haven't either up to now but am waiting for the Evans G14 single ply 14 mil heads to come out before I buy new ones.
Me too, but I wasn't too impressed with the G+'s, so I'm cautious. 7mil heads just dent too easily for me on toms, but work beautifully on my snare batters. If anyone gets hold of the G14's, post here & let us all know how they work out.

Anyone know when they're due? Evansprez?
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

I use EC1 Coated as batters on my Rock kit.
I believe that they are 13mil.
They are an interesting head,
The thick single ply has a lot of sustain and a real nice soft attack that sneaks up on you.
Evans has discontinued them.
I think that the G Plus replaced them.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

It's interesting Mike that you haven't tried single ply batters before.

I've always used single ply. Recently I had the similar experience of trying out clear Emperors for the first time. I mean, I've played on them before but not on one of my kits.

I really liked the less open and meatier sound.

I think overall I prefer the single ply sound but I became enamored with the new/different sound, so I stuck with it for a little while.

I wish it wasn't such a pain in the ass to do quick head swaps.

Plus I wish I could spend more money on trying all the different heads out there. I really want a full set of those Aquarian Vintage single ply heads.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Two ply heads were considered marching drum heads when I began playing in the late 60's.
A good drum kit came with coated Ambassadors top and bottom.
Everyone was going gaga over the new fangled single ply Clear and Black Dot heads.
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

I guess I should revise my OP since back in the early '80s I had some black dots and Ludwig silver dots. I used Pinstripes on my drums when they became all the rage. After that, I defaulted to Emperors (or G2s). Ever since, I just assumed I need their durability. I played on other people's kits with single plys, just never on my own kit. Also, so many of those other kits weren't tuned well, so I never heard them shine.

It remains to be seen how they hold up over time, but for now, I'm really liking they way they sound and play. If they only last half as long, I think I'll be okay with that.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Single ply 10 mil heads on my toms seem to give me the best combination of attack and tone I like. 2 ply heads on the toms..I can hear the extra thickness of the head with the stick attack, and I don't prefer it. I like a good crisp slap with nice round bassy tone underneath.

Single plys dent easier, but it's worth it to me for the tone. I haven't tried ironing out my dented heads yet, but may give it a try. if I can get a few more months from them, it will be worth it.

Does anyone have any experience with ironing a dented head out? Is the tone acceptable? I am going to try this today.
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  #16  
Old 02-12-2012, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

What I don't understand is how did Emperor's over Ambassador's, or another company's equivalent, become the most popular head combo if nobody likes them. Kind of like the 22 x 18 bass drum. Do people just get tired of a good thing and want a change?
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  #17  
Old 02-12-2012, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

I find it hard to get the right sound out of a floor tom with single ply batter heads. Maybe it's just me experience or lack of?
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  #18  
Old 02-12-2012, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post

Does anyone have any experience with ironing a dented head out? Is the tone acceptable? I am going to try this today.
Why not save time & try this :)
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  #19  
Old 02-12-2012, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Has anyone tried the vintage Ambassadors? Do you like the coated or clears? Maybe ths would be a good compromise between Emperors and ambassadors
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Im a single ply guy. I like the warmth, fulness of tone and brighter attack that a singly ply head produces. I just find all 2ply heads too muffled and dead sounding and lack the attack and fat full tone you can get from a single ply. As for the extra resonance of a single ply, I personally like a more open sounding drum because what you actually hear behind the kit is not what the crowd hears plus if its too resonant it can be controlled a lot easier than trying to add resonance to a dead one. I can see maybe using 2 plys on some entry level kits that can have a lot of unwanted odd harmonic overtones that can sometimes be very hard to control or tune out but on intermediate and high end kits with quality built shells I just dont see the point of killing that beautiful tone and resonance you spent the big bucks to have.

Last edited by tard; 02-13-2012 at 12:54 PM.
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  #21  
Old 02-12-2012, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

The Vintage A's on snares are awesome, its been my go to snare head over the past year. Havnt tried it on toms. Prefer double ply, I use G2s. Tried a clear Ambassador on my 14" ft and it was a nightmare. Way too boomy and "boingy" for my taste. I like a fatter sound.

Whatever floats your boat, its all good.
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  #22  
Old 02-12-2012, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

My reasoning in my early days for either coated emperors or coated ambassadors was partly economic as well. Coated ambassadors (moreso) and emperors are pretty common and in stock in alot of shops around where I live. And if people like Andy Newmark and Jeff Porcaro say ambassadors top and bottom give them the sound on songs I've loved over my lifetime, then they're good enough for me. I've never been able achieve a bad sounding drum with ambassadors top and bottom.

The durability issue can be taken care of by using emperors on top, but usually I can go with ambassadors and just change them out when its time. I hardly ever break heads, even with slamming them pretty hard.
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  #23  
Old 02-12-2012, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Some heads just sound better on some kits than on others. I have three kits that I use single play batters and three that I'm currently using double ply. I love the sound of G2 clear batter heads on the toms of my Starclassic Bubinga drums and after checking many different head combinations, I won't use anything but Evans G1 coated batters on the toms of my Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute. Depending on the sound that you're after, the marriage between the shells and heads are a very important factor, more so than what famous, or not so famous drummers has chosen to use on their particular kit.

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  #24  
Old 02-12-2012, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Why not save time & try this :)

Not quite sure what she's doing there Andy...

Tried ironing put the dents in my single ply clear tom heads today. Put a layer of T-shirt material between the iron and the drumhead. Yea, don't waste your time. At first I thought I messed up because I got too close to the collar on my 10" tom head. Then I ironed only the middle of my 16" head without coming near the edges. Doesn't work. Waste of time. Myth busted. Makes your head wavy and doesn't tension so hot anymore. Kinda ruins them.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Excuse me for asking but this is for all of you guys that dent single ply heads.
Why do you hit your drums that hard?
I never dent my single ply heads.
If I have to hit a tom so hard that a 10 mil head dents then I simply put mics on the kit.
A drum doesn't even sound good when it is hit hard enough to dent heads.
Again, Im just curious because I have never had this problem.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Excuse me for asking but this is for all of you guys that dent single ply heads.
Why do you hit your drums that hard?
I never dent my single ply heads.
If I have to hit a tom so hard that a 10 mil head dents then I simply put mics on the kit.
A drum doesn't even sound good when it is hit hard enough to dent heads.
Again, Im just curious because I have never had this problem.
Either have I. My brother used to all the time, but he hit everything in life too hard!
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

In my case, it's not that they are hit too hard, as much as the angle of the tip. A severe stick/tip angle dents heads without excessive force. I dent my heads because in the thick of a song, sometimes I don't hit the toms at the optimum angle, especially when I'm crossing over myself. Dents happen. In my practice studio, my heads aren't dented. It happens on my gigging kit though.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

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Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
Either have I. My brother used to all the time, but he hit everything in life too hard!
I was gonna say something but I won't ;)
I'll let this one go by me!

Larry, your toms are flat from what I have seen. How do you do that?
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Well today I did a across the room to across the room on two identical kits, except for the finish of course to compare Emperor over Ambassador on the Burl, to Coated Ambassador over Ambassador on the Yellow Ocher.

Burl
Better attack
More solid feel
more depth of sound(bigger)

Yellow Ocher
Less attack
More mushy feel(reminded me a bit of my Roland Mesh heads)
a more full and natural sound(warmer)
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I was gonna say something but I won't ;)
I'll let this one go by me!

Larry, your toms are flat from what I have seen. How do you do that?
Yes he used to hit me all the time! :) Or were you going to say he didn't him me enough, or not hard enough! :(
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I was gonna say something but I won't ;)
I'll let this one go by me!

Larry, your toms are flat from what I have seen. How do you do that?
Well the toms are not flat, they are at maybe a 22.5 degree angle. Optimally, the flat part of the stick bead hits the head, but when the point hits first, that does it. The point hits first because my stick angle isn't optimal. Only happens sometimes.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

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Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
Yes he used to hit me all the time! :) Or were you going to say he didn't him me enough, or not hard enough! :(
Im simply not gonna say anything!
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

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Im simply not gonna say anything!
You know that by not saying anything, about not saying anything, is already saying something! :)
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Well the toms are not flat, they are at maybe a 22.5 degree angle. Optimally, the flat part of the stick bead hits the head, but when the point hits first, that does it. The point hits first because my stick angle isn't optimal. Only happens sometimes.
To me a 22 degree angle is flat. I set my high tom/toms that way.
Even when I cross my arms I don't dig my stick tips in.
Perhaps your toms are to low?
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
To me a 22 degree angle is flat. I set my high tom/toms that way.
Even when I cross my arms I don't dig my stick tips in.
Perhaps your toms are to low?
I dent G1 clears Bob. Partially because of the tip shape I prefer, but mainly during the occasional big dynamic burst or accent. G1's & a big full sounding rock band, it's going to happen :( G2's however just tend to dish over time.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

I'm surprised you never dented a head Bob. My heads also get dented up because every week, at least 5 other drummers play them at the open mic I am a part of. They make the majority of the dents, but it happens to me too. I don't change my heads too much because the other guys just dent the heads anyway. I've learned to let that go a while ago. The dents don't affect the tone THAT much. A little for sure, but nothing to get my shorts in a twist. I've considered changing the heads every week (to a dented set) for the open mic, but it's just too much hassle. The acorn tips are the big offenders, with that point on the front.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I'm surprised you never dented a head Bob. My heads also get dented up because every week, at least 5 other drummers play them at the open mic I am a part of. They make the majority of the dents, but it happens to me too. I don't change my heads too much because the other guys just dent the heads anyway. I've learned to let that go a while ago. The dents don't affect the tone THAT much. A little for sure, but nothing to get my shorts in a twist. I've considered changing the heads every week (to a dented set) for the open mic, but it's just too much hassle. The acorn tips are the big offenders, with that point on the front.
Wouldn't it just be easier to accept the versatility of a two ply head for your kit. Especially if others are wacking away at it?
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Yes it would be easier. But I don't prefer the tone of 2 ply heads on my toms. Plus the 2 ply heads can get dented too. I pride myself on having a fantastic sounding set of drums. I can't remember the last time I saw a live bar band with a great sounding kit, they usually suck. It's a matter of personal integrity.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Yes it would be easier. But I don't prefer the tone of 2 ply heads on my toms. Plus the 2 ply heads can get dented too. I pride myself on having a fantastic sounding set of drums. I can't remember the last time I saw a live bar band with a great sounding kit, they usually suck. It's a matter of personal integrity.
Well, I have a great sounding kit also, and it has two ply heads. I have lots of that personal integrity also. ;)
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Single ply batters

Two ply heads sound good onstage. Great even. It's out in the audience, unmiced, that I don't prefer the tone. They subtract from the drum at 15 feet IMO. I'm very sensitive to the sound of the attack. I can sense the thickness of the head just by listening to the attack, and I just don't like the attack of a thicker head. From the audiences perspective. I get to hear my drums, played by different drummers, from the audience, every single week, so I know what works and what doesn't work as well, according to my preferences. The open mic drummers that come to my jam, they have it so good. How rare is that?
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