The Cult of PT57

I know there are many PT57 cultists here. What makes this iconic frame so special? What are it’s unique characteristics in play?? Comments on the Zebra Twin Tube would be especially appreciated! Thank you in advance, BHBH


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Arti

Professional
grommet channel? I want to know if the new CAP grommets completely cover the PT57 grommet channel
 

Classic-TXP-IG MID

Hall of Fame
Thank you! First one arrived today!!


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I would say that the Zebra plays more muted than a PT630, but is still plush and very comfortable. I wouldn't say crisp.

I would say that the Radical Tour (RT) 630 (Bumblebee) is crisper (slightly) than the Zebra. Both of these have a higher SW (339) than a Pro Tour (PT) 630 (SW 327). The RT630's would produce their power more easily than the PT630 and are harder to swing due to the SW difference.

I would describe the PT630 as having a gooey plushness; RT630 Zebra as a muted plushness; and RT630 Bumblebee as a crisper plushness. TW lists the RA for all of these as 58. The difference between the Zebra and the Bumblebee is that the Zebra has a Twin Tube Construction (like a Liquidmetal Radical - if you've played with that one) and the Bumblebee doesn't. The Bumblebee has Twaron (like the PT630).

You've asked what's special about these racquets... they have an excellent build quality (many still look like new even though they are from the 90's); great precision and directional control; incredible comfort and stability; and I find them to have exceptional feel and touch.

Hope that helps... but since one has arrived already, you'll be able to judge them for yourself... :)

Can't wait to hear your impressions...
 
I would say that the Zebra plays more muted than a PT630, but is still plush and very comfortable. I wouldn't say crisp.

I would say that the Radical Tour (RT) 630 (Bumblebee) is crisper (slightly) than the Zebra. Both of these have a higher SW (339) than a Pro Tour (PT) 630 (SW 327). The RT630's would produce their power more easily than the PT630 and are harder to swing due to the SW difference.

I would describe the PT630 as having a gooey plushness; RT630 Zebra as a muted plushness; and RT630 Bumblebee as a crisper plushness. TW lists the RA for all of these as 58. The difference between the Zebra and the Bumblebee is that the Zebra has a Twin Tube Construction (like a Liquidmetal Radical - if you've played with that one) and the Bumblebee doesn't. The Bumblebee has Twaron (like the PT630).

You've asked what's special about these racquets... they have an excellent build quality (many still look like new even though they are from the 90's); great precision and directional control; incredible comfort and stability; and I find them to have exceptional feel and touch.

Hope that helps... but since one has arrived already, you'll be able to judge them for yourself... :)

Can't wait to hear your impressions...
That’s really helpful! Thank you. . BTW, it DOES look like new! I was very pleasantly surprised.


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Peter Szucs

Semi-Pro
I know there are many PT57 cultists here. What makes this iconic frame so special? What are it’s unique characteristics in play?? Comments on the Zebra Twin Tube would be especially appreciated! Thank you in advance, BHBH


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I have been using Pt57a for two months now so take my words accordingly. Coming from wilson h22 the first couple of weeks were a struggle to be honest. But i wanted to see what the big fuss is about. Considerably less free power especially outside of the smallish sweetspot was my biggest issue. Constant tweaking with lead didnt help either.
Now i am settled and start to appreciate the very uniform and predictable response and the amount of control iam getting from the baseline. I feel like i am still at the beginning of our journey though, will see how it works out.
 

PT630Wannabe

Professional
I think it's also important to note that pro stocks unless properly set up are going to be a bit of a crapshoot. The retail versions (Rad Tour 630 and PT 630) might be on the heavy side for some users, but their specs were at least tested and decided on by HEAD. I thoroughly enjoy every shot I hit with my Rad Tours. I was blown away when I hit with @bkfinch's PT630s. My PT57e pro stock? It's a great feeling racquet, but the specs it had from whatever pro played it were not necessarily ideal.
 

bkfinch

Rookie
I think it's also important to note that pro stocks unless properly set up are going to be a bit of a crapshoot. The retail versions (Rad Tour 630 and PT 630) might be on the heavy side for some users, but their specs were at least tested and decided on by HEAD. I thoroughly enjoy every shot I hit with my Rad Tours. I was blown away when I hit with @bkfinch's PT630s. My PT57e pro stock? It's a great feeling racquet, but the specs it had from whatever pro played it were not necessarily ideal.
I found my logged spec from the time you hit with them. Yea, nerd moment. I had matched them to be about 360g, under 32cm balance and mid 350s swingweight. Radical grommets, no caps. I'm of the opinion now that the flexy frame needs the cap grommets for better torsional stability.

Unfortunately for my ego my backhand prefers a stiffer frame :oops: maybe my serve too :oops::oops::oops:
 

bkfinch

Rookie
I played with them at stock spec (without caps) for at least a year if not more before I got dragged back into the TW forum and started experimenting with swingweight. Those specs were about 345g, 31.5cm and 327-330sw. I used to string alu power rough at 60-64. I absolutely loved it and never thought of changing. Now I don't know if I was nuts then (suuuuuper low powered setup) or if I'm nuts now (lead tape connoisseur and amateur racket physicist). Only @PT630Wannabe knows for sure...
 

obana48

Rookie
As a corresponding member of the racket science society, I shaved the CAPs up to the middle of the hoop. No torsional instability.
I can't see any problems with non-CAP grommets either. With lighter setup I can swing faster which is a big plus. I think everything depends on player's capabilities to hit the centre.
 

Imago

Hall of Fame
Please. Don’t drag me back into this! LOL

How is the effect on the feel?
Much better with Liquidmetal MP as an experiment. This racket felt somehow heavy and hard to maneuver with. Now it's more crisp and easy to swing. Surprisingly, the flex moved up towards the tip of the hoop. Tomorrow getting finally three i.Prestiges and will sacrifice one of them.
 

bkfinch

Rookie
Much better with Liquidmetal MP as an experiment. This racket felt somehow heavy and hard to maneuver with. Now it's more crisp and easy to swing. Surprisingly, the flex moved up towards the tip of the hoop. Tomorrow getting finally three i.Prestiges and will sacrifice one of them.
You mean you used shaved Lm Prestige Caps on a Pro Tour? Or you shaved the caps on a LM Prestige MP?

When I put LM Prestige caps on the Pro Tour the hoop definitely became stiffer. I liked the feel a lot. It was too cumbersome though. I used a newer cap after which was about 6g lighter... made a huge difference in terms of easier handling. Swingeight went down from about 345 to 335-338. I posted about it here in IDK July or something.

I wonder just how headlight the prostocks must be to have a cap grommet and still really low swingweight.

BTW There is a Muster prostock back on **** which looks more like a PT57E than PT57A... unstrung RA 67 and the throat dimples don’t look like the PT57A.


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Last edited:

daddabompa

Hall of Fame
You mean you used shaved Lm Prestige Caps on a Pro Tour? Or you shaved the caps on a LM Prestige MP?

When I put LM Prestige caps on the Pro Tour the hoop definitely became stiffer. I liked the feel a lot. It was too cumbersome though. I used a newer cap after which was about 6g lighter... made a huge difference in terms of easier handling. Swingeight went down from about 345 to 335-338. I posted about it here in IDK July or something.

I wonder just how headlight the prostocks must be to have a cap grommet and still really low swingweight.

BTW There is a Muster prostock back on **** which looks more like a PT57E than PT57A... unstrung RA 67 and the throat dimples don’t look like the PT57A.


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As far as I know, Muster always played with PT57A.
Furthermore I read that he played with a particular layup version, called S.E.1 (or .2), which is considerably stiffer than standard layup.
 

Imago

Hall of Fame
You mean you used shaved Lm Prestige Caps on a Pro Tour? Or you shaved the caps on a LM Prestige MP?
I shaved the LM CAPs half the way between i.Prestige and Touch Mid. I wonder if I shave the CAPs of Touch MP up to the middle of the hood, would it play softer, because Touch Mid is definitely softer. In any case both new Prestiges present a nice emulation of the classic feel, far better than the previous Graphene iterations.

BTW, got three i.Prestige today...

 
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First session out!

The frames arrived and my first thought was "My God, they look like NEW!!!". I'm not sure if I got lucky, or they really are THAT durable but I think both could pass as lightly used current sticks. :)

One of the two frames was strung at around 55# (according to my 'String-O-Meter' ;) ) with an unknown synthetic. The weaves were good and the knots proper, but I would NEVER play synthetic gut-just not my 'thing'. The grip is a TK82 'rectangular one' in a 3/8. Though I tried to build it up using tape on the top/bottom levels, this is a major obstacle for me as I am an absolute addict to the Wilson grip shape. Thankfully I have access to a MRT who knows my preferences and can easily swap the pallets for trusty TK82S 5/8, which almost exactly replicate my AK90 1/2 handles (certainly close enough!!) But for this first hit I played it more or less as is, which included a synthetic grip (which I also dislike, as I prefer the bare handle with a single TG) As played yesterday the frame measured 354 grams/32cm/350 SW (I added 4 grams of lead at 3/9 in addition to the tape to build up the frame and single TG 'Tacky'. The stock measurements were 346 grams/31.5cm/339 SW.)

Now that the disclaimers have been made, on to the review. :)

As a lifelong Wilson Pro Staff user the HEAD frames are distinctly different. The head shape in particular is much more 'oval' and the beam of course, when compared to my AK90's, noticeably thinner. I for one don't care for the Zebra PJ, but that's easily fixed. If I do decide to play them, I have plans in store in that aspect. :)

Off the ground the more 'muted' feel was immediately evident, even in a short court warm up game. Likewise the sense of 'solidity' was remarkable. I've joked on these boards about a 'hobby within the hobby' of demo'ing frames (though I pretty much only 'play' with my Wilsons) and as a result I've hit with many of the newer offerings from all the big brands. MOST (not all, but MOST) have a kind of hollow, resonant quality that I find very disconcerting. As a result I lack 'connection' to my shots. Not so with the Zebra. There's a very solid 'thud' with well struck balls off the ground and a TON of (as @drakulie says) "Feedback to the hand" TM. Though I found it necessary to 'drive through' the ball more to achieve the same depth with the 18x20 pattern, access to spin was still quite good. I don't think the frames are AS stable as my Wilson 90's, but they are certainly very stable (torsionally, I can't imagine who that oval shape COULD be as stable without a BUNCH of lead at 3/9 and I've noticed over the years many HEAD pros indeed use quite a bit there)

At the net I'm going to need some time to adjust to the Zebra's RA of 58. While I enjoyed good feel/touch (REALLY good, actually) I found the ball sort of 'dying' off the stringbed at times. I suspect this is operator error, as obviously a frame like this one is going to feel/respond differently at net than my MUCH stiffer Wilsons (66 vs 58 is a BIG difference in stiffness). And I'm sure the string mattered here too-I've been using full beds of 18 guage poly for 15 years or more, so synthetic gut strung more loosely doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

I've always served well with HEAD frames, including everything from the original Prestige mids to the most recent Radicals and the Zebra was no exception. Even thought it usually takes longest to dial in the serve with a new frame, I was hitting targets with good pace and spin right away. Maybe NOT the "biggest" serving, but more precise. I am willing to bet I hit more MPH with my Wilsons, but the HEAD Zebra is like a sniper rifle. :)

An area where the Zebra shone was in half volleys, droppers and pick ups at net. Here I actually think it's better than my Wilson AK 90. There, I said it. :)

In short, I can't wait to see how these play with my preferred set up in terms of not only string and grip but weight/balance/SW. I think I'm going to extend at least one frame to 27.25" based on my very positive experiences with my AK 90's so extended, i.e. just a TOUCH more power and spin off the ground and bigger serving, but not enough to adversely affect my volleys. :) So, there you have it! What a great experience and so much fun to start to learn what the passion about the PT57 is all about. More to come my fellow tennis addicts......maybe even a short video. :)

Happy Hitting,

BHBH
 

langdon0555

Semi-Pro
First session out!

The frames arrived and my first thought was "My God, they look like NEW!!!". I'm not sure if I got lucky, or they really are THAT durable but I think both could pass as lightly used current sticks. :)

One of the two frames was strung at around 55# (according to my 'String-O-Meter' ;) ) with an unknown synthetic. The weaves were good and the knots proper, but I would NEVER play synthetic gut-just not my 'thing'. The grip is a TK82 'rectangular one' in a 3/8. Though I tried to build it up using tape on the top/bottom levels, this is a major obstacle for me as I am an absolute addict to the Wilson grip shape. Thankfully I have access to a MRT who knows my preferences and can easily swap the pallets for trusty TK82S 5/8, which almost exactly replicate my AK90 1/2 handles (certainly close enough!!) But for this first hit I played it more or less as is, which included a synthetic grip (which I also dislike, as I prefer the bare handle with a single TG) As played yesterday the frame measured 354 grams/32cm/350 SW (I added 4 grams of lead at 3/9 in addition to the tape to build up the frame and single TG 'Tacky'. The stock measurements were 346 grams/31.5cm/339 SW.)

Now that the disclaimers have been made, on to the review. :)

As a lifelong Wilson Pro Staff user the HEAD frames are distinctly different. The head shape in particular is much more 'oval' and the beam of course, when compared to my AK90's, noticeably thinner. I for one don't care for the Zebra PJ, but that's easily fixed. If I do decide to play them, I have plans in store in that aspect. :)

Off the ground the more 'muted' feel was immediately evident, even in a short court warm up game. Likewise the sense of 'solidity' was remarkable. I've joked on these boards about a 'hobby within the hobby' of demo'ing frames (though I pretty much only 'play' with my Wilsons) and as a result I've hit with many of the newer offerings from all the big brands. MOST (not all, but MOST) have a kind of hollow, resonant quality that I find very disconcerting. As a result I lack 'connection' to my shots. Not so with the Zebra. There's a very solid 'thud' with well struck balls off the ground and a TON of (as @drakulie says) "Feedback to the hand" TM. Though I found it necessary to 'drive through' the ball more to achieve the same depth with the 18x20 pattern, access to spin was still quite good. I don't think the frames are AS stable as my Wilson 90's, but they are certainly very stable (torsionally, I can't imagine who that oval shape COULD be as stable without a BUNCH of lead at 3/9 and I've noticed over the years many HEAD pros indeed use quite a bit there)

At the net I'm going to need some time to adjust to the Zebra's RA of 58. While I enjoyed good feel/touch (REALLY good, actually) I found the ball sort of 'dying' off the stringbed at times. I suspect this is operator error, as obviously a frame like this one is going to feel/respond differently at net than my MUCH stiffer Wilsons (66 vs 58 is a BIG difference in stiffness). And I'm sure the string mattered here too-I've been using full beds of 18 guage poly for 15 years or more, so synthetic gut strung more loosely doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

I've always served well with HEAD frames, including everything from the original Prestige mids to the most recent Radicals and the Zebra was no exception. Even thought it usually takes longest to dial in the serve with a new frame, I was hitting targets with good pace and spin right away. Maybe NOT the "biggest" serving, but more precise. I am willing to bet I hit more MPH with my Wilsons, but the HEAD Zebra is like a sniper rifle. :)

An area where the Zebra shone was in half volleys, droppers and pick ups at net. Here I actually think it's better than my Wilson AK 90. There, I said it. :)

In short, I can't wait to see how these play with my preferred set up in terms of not only string and grip but weight/balance/SW. I think I'm going to extend at least one frame to 27.25" based on my very positive experiences with my AK 90's so extended, i.e. just a TOUCH more power and spin off the ground and bigger serving, but not enough to adversely affect my volleys. :) So, there you have it! What a great experience and so much fun to start to learn what the passion about the PT57 is all about. More to come my fellow tennis addicts......maybe even a short video. :)

Happy Hitting,

BHBH
You are using the oversize model though, not the midplus...correct?
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
First session out!

The frames arrived and my first thought was "My God, they look like NEW!!!". I'm not sure if I got lucky, or they really are THAT durable but I think both could pass as lightly used current sticks. :)

One of the two frames was strung at around 55# (according to my 'String-O-Meter' ;) ) with an unknown synthetic. The weaves were good and the knots proper, but I would NEVER play synthetic gut-just not my 'thing'. The grip is a TK82 'rectangular one' in a 3/8. Though I tried to build it up using tape on the top/bottom levels, this is a major obstacle for me as I am an absolute addict to the Wilson grip shape. Thankfully I have access to a MRT who knows my preferences and can easily swap the pallets for trusty TK82S 5/8, which almost exactly replicate my AK90 1/2 handles (certainly close enough!!) But for this first hit I played it more or less as is, which included a synthetic grip (which I also dislike, as I prefer the bare handle with a single TG) As played yesterday the frame measured 354 grams/32cm/350 SW (I added 4 grams of lead at 3/9 in addition to the tape to build up the frame and single TG 'Tacky'. The stock measurements were 346 grams/31.5cm/339 SW.)

Now that the disclaimers have been made, on to the review. :)

As a lifelong Wilson Pro Staff user the HEAD frames are distinctly different. The head shape in particular is much more 'oval' and the beam of course, when compared to my AK90's, noticeably thinner. I for one don't care for the Zebra PJ, but that's easily fixed. If I do decide to play them, I have plans in store in that aspect. :)

Off the ground the more 'muted' feel was immediately evident, even in a short court warm up game. Likewise the sense of 'solidity' was remarkable. I've joked on these boards about a 'hobby within the hobby' of demo'ing frames (though I pretty much only 'play' with my Wilsons) and as a result I've hit with many of the newer offerings from all the big brands. MOST (not all, but MOST) have a kind of hollow, resonant quality that I find very disconcerting. As a result I lack 'connection' to my shots. Not so with the Zebra. There's a very solid 'thud' with well struck balls off the ground and a TON of (as @drakulie says) "Feedback to the hand" TM. Though I found it necessary to 'drive through' the ball more to achieve the same depth with the 18x20 pattern, access to spin was still quite good. I don't think the frames are AS stable as my Wilson 90's, but they are certainly very stable (torsionally, I can't imagine who that oval shape COULD be as stable without a BUNCH of lead at 3/9 and I've noticed over the years many HEAD pros indeed use quite a bit there)

At the net I'm going to need some time to adjust to the Zebra's RA of 58. While I enjoyed good feel/touch (REALLY good, actually) I found the ball sort of 'dying' off the stringbed at times. I suspect this is operator error, as obviously a frame like this one is going to feel/respond differently at net than my MUCH stiffer Wilsons (66 vs 58 is a BIG difference in stiffness). And I'm sure the string mattered here too-I've been using full beds of 18 guage poly for 15 years or more, so synthetic gut strung more loosely doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

I've always served well with HEAD frames, including everything from the original Prestige mids to the most recent Radicals and the Zebra was no exception. Even thought it usually takes longest to dial in the serve with a new frame, I was hitting targets with good pace and spin right away. Maybe NOT the "biggest" serving, but more precise. I am willing to bet I hit more MPH with my Wilsons, but the HEAD Zebra is like a sniper rifle. :)

An area where the Zebra shone was in half volleys, droppers and pick ups at net. Here I actually think it's better than my Wilson AK 90. There, I said it. :)

In short, I can't wait to see how these play with my preferred set up in terms of not only string and grip but weight/balance/SW. I think I'm going to extend at least one frame to 27.25" based on my very positive experiences with my AK 90's so extended, i.e. just a TOUCH more power and spin off the ground and bigger serving, but not enough to adversely affect my volleys. :) So, there you have it! What a great experience and so much fun to start to learn what the passion about the PT57 is all about. More to come my fellow tennis addicts......maybe even a short video. :)

Happy Hitting,

BHBH
That’s the thing about ALL the Classic HEAD racquets from their golden age, they all make that “Thud”sound off the string bed. It becomes addictive if you start to play with them regularly.
 
That’s the thing about ALL the Classic HEAD racquets from their golden age, they all make that “Thud”sound off the string bed. It becomes addictive if you start to play with them regularly.
I could absolutely see how one could fall in love with the Zebra! And yes it is a very distinctive sound AND (maybe even more so??) feel. Thanks for bringing them to my attention!!! Best, BHBH


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Good morning fellow cult members!

So, my master racket technician came through and I was able to play the Zebra today at my specifications with the proper grip and strings installed.

I replaced the rectangular old school head pallets with more Wilson like
TK82S’s in my preferred 5/8 with a single tournagrip XL tacky over the bare handle.

The specifications were 354 g/31.5 cm balance/340 swing weight for my 27.25 inches long frame.

The string was Volkl Cyclone 18 gauge at 44 pounds.

I wrote yesterday that I could understand how someone might fall in love with the zebra. But I also expressed some reticence as pertains to how the more flexible frame might play for me at net. Well, what a difference the proper set up, and in particular the appropriate size grip and string configuration can make!

As some of you may know from my ramblings in other threads I’ve been slowly recovering from a nagging hamstring injury and only recently able to move freely. As a result, time on the court has become even more of a precious thing to me.

I can honestly say I played as well as I am capable of playing today using the Zebra. Everything seemed to flow naturally, with surprisingly little adjustment necessary given the different head shape, and in particular the flexibility, of the racket compared to my reference Asian K 90s.

Given my hesitation with regard to the frame’s performance at net’ I think it is appropriate to mention how well I volleyed. The extra quarter inch in length is just enough to give a little bit more “whip“ on the ground strokes and allowing me to create spin more easily while not compromising the maneuverability on emergency shots such as pick ups and half volleys.

The serve was flowing as well for me today as it has since I injured my hamstring six months ago.

Today I found myself playing and enjoying tennis without thinking too much about the frame. This to me is an end goal! When I consider I purchased two of these frames for a little more than $100 it’s hard to justify the high price tag of certain current models. Even with replacement pallets, but caps, and grommets the price to performance ratio is simply unbelievable.

What a joy playing the PT 57! I was never much of an Agassi fan, so and perhaps that deterred me, but I have to say there is something very special about these frames. The feel in particular is incredibly solid.

More to come as the journey continues with the PT57!

Best,

BHBH




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Last edited:

PT630Wannabe

Professional
Good morning fellow cult members!

So, my master racket technician came through and I was able to play the Zebra today at my specifications with the proper grip and strings installed.

I replaced the rectangular oldschool head pallets with more Wilson likeTK82S’s in my preferred 5/8 with a single tournagrip XL tacky over the bare handle.

The specifications were 354 g/31.5 cm balance/340 swing weight for my 27.25 inches long frame.

The string was Volkl Cyclone 18 gauge at 44 pounds.

I wrote yesterday that I could understand how someone might fall in love with the zebra. But I also expressed some reticence as pertains to how the more flexible frame might play for me at net. Well, what a difference the proper set up, and in particular the appropriate size grip and string configuration can make!

As some of you may know from my ramblings in other threads I’ve been slowly recovering from a nagging hamstring injury and only recently able to move freely. As a result, time on the court has become even more of a precious thing to me.

I can honestly say I played as well as I am capable of playing today using the Zebra. Everything seemed to flow naturally, with surprisingly little adjustment necessary given the different head shape, and in particular the flexibility, of the racket compared to my reference Asian K 90s.

Given my hesitation with regard to the frame’s performance at net’ I think it is appropriate to mention how well I volleyed. The extra quarter inch in length is just enough to give a little bit more “whip“ on the ground strokes and allowing me to create spin more easily while not compromising the maneuverability on emergency shots such as pick ups and half volleys.

The serve was flowing as well for me today as it has since I injured my hamstring six months ago.

Today I found myself playing and enjoying tennis without thinking too much about the frame. This to me is an end goal! When I consider I purchased two of these frames for a little more than $100 it’s hard to justify the high price tag of certain current models. Even with replacement pallets, but caps, and grommets the price to performance ratio is simply unbelievable.

What a joy playing the PT 57. I was never much of a negative in, and perhaps that deterred me, but I have to say there is something very special about these frames. The feel in particular is incredibly solid.

More to come as the journey continues with the capital PT57!

Best,

BHBH




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Wait till you try one of the Twaron PT57 frames.
 
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