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Author Topic: EV ELX118P Sub  (Read 32617 times)

Loren Aguey

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EV ELX118P Sub
« on: July 01, 2011, 06:46:03 pm »

This is for a small club with a limited budget. First a little history to put things into better perspective. Since I've worked there we've gone through a few subs. We started with an underpowered JBL MPro series 18" sub, not sure what the exact model was. It was only getting around 350 watts so I can't completely knock the sub but needless to say the sound/output was uninspiring. We needed at least two of those and they needed to be properly powered.

Next up was a Mackie SWA1501 borrowed from a house DJ. It performed about as I expected. Acceptable given it was being asked to do more than it was designed to do. Sound quality was ok, better than the JBL, but still lacking for the room.

Next we got to borrow the SWA1801 for a couple months. Drastic difference. For once we had a borderline acceptable low end output for bands and dj's that we do in the room. A few regulars commented on the difference almost immediately. Two of these would have been plenty for the room. Sound quality was the best the room has heard, and what I'd call decent, but at least it had enough output.

But eventually those had to go and it was time to buy a new sub on a shoestring budget. The EV live x series came to mind because of its price vs specs so we decided on the ELX118p.

Holy shit what a disappointment. Easily the worst of any of the afore mentioned subs including the under powered low end JBL. This sub does not perform even remotely close to what it's specs say on paper. I realize that specs are often fluffed and need to be taken with a grain of salt, but I'm of the opinion that they should at least give you a semi accurate ballpark of how the speaker will perform. Not so in this case.

As soon as we fired it up I noticed a very peaky response in the 80-100hz range. The louder it gets, the lack of any substantial output below 60hz becomes more apparent. When boosting 40 and 50hz on the FOH graph, it got louder but certainly not in that range and it did not sound happy doing it. Specs claim it will do 42hz +/- 3dB and 32hz +/-10dB. Nope, not even close. Nothing full or rich sounding about this sub.

But I thought, we'll see how it does with a band. The kick was weak, and to get anything out of it I had to push way too hard. So when pumping kick and bass guitar through it, the sub is in limit the whole time. To get out of limit I had to back WAY off to the point of the sub being barely noticeable. Any time I tried to get anything out of it it would be in limit, and eventually shut off into protect mode.

Full disclosure: any sub that has seen this room is admittedly pushed too hard. I have an 8-10 piece funk band and a packed dancefloor so its hard to just settle with weak low end because it really needs it. I wish the owner would sack up and get a real sub setup, but it's not gonna happen. And in his defense when he took over he bought us a badly needed new mixer, snake, mics etc..., and bumped up our pay, when the old guy wouldn't dream of it.

So yes the EV was being pushed too hard but it doesn't even put up a fight. And at no point did it ever sound good when within its limits. And was the only sub to have gone into protect, especially with such weak output. The 15" mackie performed way better and never cut out.

The thought occurred that maybe this is a faulty sub. But when you plug it in and turn it on it works, and you can crank it gets louder so it appears to me that its just not a good product.

I haven't heard anything else in the Live X series and the 12" box gets good reviews. But this sub is just plain weak.

Pro's: Very compact, and very lightweight.

Con's: Sound quality, output, general buyers remorse etc..

It's going back and now I think we might be in the market for a used LS801p or HPR 181.







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Pat Latimer

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Re: EV ELX118P Sub
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2011, 08:00:22 pm »

Loren, how many subs are you using and how big is the room?

If you have an 8-10 piece funk band playing through a single sub, I can see why nothing is working out for you.

Pat

Loren Aguey

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Re: EV ELX118P Sub
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2011, 08:57:20 pm »

Loren, how many subs are you using and how big is the room?

If you have an 8-10 piece funk band playing through a single sub, I can see why nothing is working out for you.

Pat

Only one sub, not sure the dims but its a small room. Maybe 150-ish cap and as stated in my OP I'm well aware we need more subs. It is what is and the budget is not there. Regardless I'm not interested in any number of the EV subs because they proved the least capable of any other sub we tried in there. The SWA1801 was the best of the few we tried in that room. We would have loved to have kept it but it was a loaner from a guy who no longer works there. And compared to the Live X sub(with very similiar specs) its not even a contest.

But as far as a single sub goes, I'm confident the LS800p would handle the room just fine.
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Rory Buszka

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Re: EV ELX118P Sub
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 12:44:31 pm »

Stories like this one annoy me because the OP ends up slandering a product (blaming the gear, not its application or the skill of its operator - a key sign of an amateur) when the product is clearly misapplied at best, and at worst is being abused such that what is being evaluated is not the product's intended performance under a typical operating regime, but a comparison of how different products operate under distress.

In the original post, which only qualifies as a long rant ("Holy fucking shit what a bullshit shitpile product"), we don't receive any information about the room's physical size ('small' is a relative term and doesn't give any useful information; how about some numbers?) or the configuration of the rest of the sound system (the model of the main loudspeakers and the number of them), the configuration of the room and stage (is the sub placed in a corner, along a wall, or in the middle of the room? do drummers play behind an aquarium or inside a booth? Do the other musicians understand the importance of controlling stage volume in such a 'small' room?) and the expected level of performance ('punchy' bass? 'full' bass? 'articulate' bass? Typical SPLs, dBa/slow?). It's really just a list of grievances with the product, finished off with a declaration that it's not worth its asking price. If the OP expects any recommendations about how to better his circumstances, we definitely need some actual information about the room, the application, and the intended use.

From the OP's narrative below, the search for new gear should have ended with the Mackie 1801, since the product was tried in the room and application, and seemed to perform well enough (though per the above admission that smaller powered subs are typically overworked in this room, maybe it just has the most graceful self-limiting scheme). A room with 150 people with heavy dance music or rock music really will need two or more single-18" subs (in this price and performance class) in order to achieve decent bass performance. I'd recommend that the OP either try to return the Live X sub and then find a used SWA1801, or if the sub can be placed in a corner, the OP should consider a horn-loaded sub like the Yorkville UCS1P, corner-loaded to (hopefully) achieve enough output to compete with a too-loud band on stage. But more likely than not, the problem is with attempting to achieve sustained unsafe SPLs in a room that is too small to accommodate the types of acts that this club is trying to attract, to the point that the main PA is having to screech over the top of a Marshall full-stack, an Ampeg SVT bass rig, and a drummer building a rhythmic 'house' at full volume because he thinks he's in the Enormo Dome, not a low-rent club. This is a no-win situation.

Only one sub, not sure the dims but its a small room. Maybe 150-ish cap and as stated in my OP I'm well aware we need more subs. It is what is and the budget is not there. Regardless I'm not interested in any number of the EV subs because they proved the least capable of any other sub we tried in there. The SWA1801 was the best of the few we tried in that room. We would have loved to have kept it but it was a loaner from a guy who no longer works there. And compared to the Live X sub(with very similiar specs) its not even a contest.

But as far as a single sub goes, I'm confident the LS800p would handle the room just fine.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 12:50:49 pm by Rory Buszka »
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Loren Aguey

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Re: EV ELX118P Sub
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 07:28:25 am »

Rory,

Having just finished up a long ass 4th of july gig, (as perhaps you have also and definitely plenty of sound folk across the country have) I think maybe its just me being sun burnt and tired but I'm probably more annoyed with your response than you were with my review. Lots of unfounded assumptions, not to mention straight up calling me an amateur.

Give me a break man. I was fully upfront about the work load of the subs in this room and the exact reason I gave the history of all the previous subs in the room was to put things into perspective instead of just saying, "I bought this sub and it doesn't fill the room with earth shattering bass like a single 18" should...its a piece of shit" That statement would have justified your response, my review does not.

We started with an underpowered JBL MPro series 18" sub, not sure what the exact model was. It was only getting around 350 watts so I can't completely knock the sub but needless to say the sound/output was uninspiring. We needed at least two of those and they needed to be properly powered.

Next up was a Mackie SWA1501 borrowed from a house DJ. It performed about as I expected. Acceptable given it was being asked to do more than it was designed to do. Sound quality was ok, better than the JBL, but still lacking for the room.

Perhaps you skimmed over this part when coming to the conclusion that I'm an amateur who bashes gear when my skill level is inadequate to get the results I want. That was me NOT slamming the gear even when I wasn't happy with what I got for the exact reasons you state.

In the original post, which only qualifies as a long rant ("Holy fucking shit what a bullshit shitpile product"), we don't receive any information about the room's physical size ('small' is a relative term and doesn't give any useful information; how about some numbers?) or the configuration of the rest of the sound system (the model of the main loudspeakers and the number of them), the configuration of the room and stage (is the sub placed in a corner, along a wall, or in the middle of the room? do drummers play behind an aquarium or inside a booth? Do the other musicians understand the importance of controlling stage volume in such a 'small' room?) and the expected level of performance ('punchy' bass? 'full' bass? 'articulate' bass? Typical SPLs, dBa/slow?). It's really just a list of grievances with the product, finished off with a declaration that it's not worth its asking price. If the OP expects any recommendations about how to better his circumstances, we definitely need some actual information about the room, the application, and the intended use.

It wasn't a rant buddy it was a simple declaration that the sub does not sound good, has weak output and LF extension etc...under any circumstances. I never said it was shit I said it was a disappointment. But I'll humor you with the info that you want. I still don't know the specs to the room but I'll post a pic. What you see in the pic is the whole dance floor and the majority of the room itself. Right next to the sound booth is the club entrance, and right next to that is the bar. The pic was taken from FOH and behind that is a window facing the street. Sub is and always has been placed in the corner, house right. Its below that little group of orange lights.  Its on the same plane as the back wall of the stage, so behind the front line of the band and the mains. No the mains are not delayed to the sub, yes I realize it'd be nice to do that, and no there's no chance of the owner buying a driverack or other low end dsp to allow me to do that. Also I think I overshot my capacity estimate. 100 people in there would be pretty jammed up.

Mains are 2 JBL MPro series 15" plus horn passive boxes powered by an rmx 2450, 450 watts per box at 8 ohms. Don't know the exact model but they are plenty for the room. They don't sound great but not terrible either and a hell of a lot more reliable than the several Mackie HD 1221's they replaced. Mid-high output/coverage was never a problem in that room.

I usually only mix the same house funk band every week for this club. They are pro and understand stage volume but regardless the sum of all the parts with that many players in that small a room can get loud at times. Expected level of performance of the EV sub was to at least have the fact that there's a sub in the room be noticeable, without being in full limit and into protect. I really wasn't expecting the world.

I've never measured spl in there but I'd estimate the room hovers in the mid to high 90's dBA slow, possibly peaking in the low 100's. Again, just an estimate, but enough to say that its never super crazy/painful loud in there.

From the OP's narrative below, the search for new gear should have ended with the Mackie 1801, since the product was tried in the room and application, and seemed to perform well enough (though per the above admission that smaller powered subs are typically overworked in this room, maybe it just has the most graceful self-limiting scheme).

No shit dude in that reply that you quoted I explain how we would have liked to have kept it but couldn't. In hindsight I'm sure we could have found a used SWA1801 for the same or less than the Live X sub costs. That would have been considerably preferable. However I did not imagine that another single 18" with similar specs could perform that much worse. I thought I'd be getting roughly something similar (performance-wise) and new with a warranty.

A room with 150 people with heavy dance music or rock music really will need two or more single-18" subs (in this price and performance class) in order to achieve decent bass performance.

Agreed. But as Billy Bob said in my favorite Christmas movie "wish in one hand, shit in the other and see which fills up first" Its cheapo club land man, a gig that I consider slumming it but I do one night a week because the band is phenomenal, its a great staff and I could always use the cash. That is unless I have already put in 12 hours on some other gig during the day and don't want to to work until 230am for a fraction of the pay.

I'd recommend that the OP either try to return the Live X sub and then find a used SWA1801, or if the sub can be placed in a corner, the OP should consider a horn-loaded sub like the Yorkville UCS1P, corner-loaded to (hopefully) achieve enough output to compete with a too-loud band on stage.

Agreed again. I lived and worked in Vancouver BC for a few years which has a strong Yorkville presence. I'm quite familiar with most of their stuff and I love the Unity line. The UCS1P to my ears sounds a bit better than the LS800P but I think the Elite series 18" has the edge in sheer output, which is why for a only having one I'd lean towards that in this situation but I'd be more than happy with either.

But more likely than not, the problem is with attempting to achieve sustained unsafe SPLs in a room that is too small to accommodate the types of acts that this club is trying to attract, to the point that the main PA is having to screech over the top of a Marshall full-stack, an Ampeg SVT bass rig, and a drummer building a rhythmic 'house' at full volume because he thinks he's in the Enormo Dome, not a low-rent club. This is a no-win situation.

Wow you sure seem to know a lot about how loud I mix and what type of bands we book. We do NOT have loud rock bands in this room, period. Not that type of club. Mostly mellow, jammy stuff, solo singer songwriters, DJ's and the rare hip hop show. The funk band I do is the loudest only because of the sheer number of players. Its also the busiest night of the week, every week and its not a weekend night.

I do NOT mix at unsafe SPL levels. Just tryin' to get a little thump to accommodate the funk that's all. But thanks for making some more assumptions.

In summary: I understand you feel that I'm slamming a piece of gear after just throwing it in a situation way out of its element then coming to the conclusion that its shit, because I don't know any better. Not the case at all. My opinion is this: Any decent single driver sub in this room, while out manned, should still perform. I don't expect huge slammin' bottom end, just at least something to help fill it out. The first 3 subs we tried in there performed about as expected, and still considerably better than nothing. Quite honestly I genuinely feel the EV was only marginally better than nothing. By the time you get it out of limit to stop going into protect, you barely hear it over a band. With the DJ it added some low end but doesn't sound good doing it. As stated when I first fired it up I noticed a lackluster frequency response, as in not going very low at all.

And for the record I really don't feel that running kick and bass through this sub in a small room is drastically out of its intended use. While two or more would have certainly been more appropriate, one of these still should give me something usable, and it really didn't.

That's the point I was trying to make, take a listen for yourself if you get a chance and see if you don't agree. BTW I wasn't trying to be rude but its been a long day and some of the stuff if your response rubbed me the wrong way.

-Loren
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Glen Earl Brown Jr

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Re: EV ELX118P Sub
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 03:27:21 pm »

I wont speak to the application or underpowering of the environment or type of music. But I have noticed similar comments about the new live X sub. I have seen some very impressive reviews of the ELX powered tops, but in most cases saw great disappointment in the 118. Strange, I have a set of Carvin 1801NA powered subs which seem to be the exact specs of the ELX188P, the only real difference is that the EV's are slightly lighter weight and are made in China as opposed to San Diego. And the descriptions of the EV's are very much how I would describe the Carvins, in 2 words - very disappointing. I have set them up in different environments with many different genres etc, etc and its always the same. I am wondering if it is possible to have such compact 1-18 powered subs that will do any better?. I understand you get what you pay for and the Carvins are probably the cheapest in their class, even cheaper that the EV's. But its disheartening to see 1-15 subs outwork 1-18s.
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Ken Osmancich

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Re: EV ELX118P Sub
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2011, 04:12:18 pm »

Hi all:
I just had to write to share my experience.
First off I am a soundman turned DJ and I have had many systems over the last 15 years or so.
 I have been using Yorkville Nx720s Powered subs (700 watts). I just got a set of ELX115p's a couple months ago and loved them so much I had to get a ELX118p to see how they were.
When I first tested it I set it up in the simplest way, to the sub then the top (set to the with sub setting).
When I cranked it up the bass response was way back in the mix, I had to crank the sub volume to full and it was just OK.

NEXT I set it up the way I use things, through the DBX Driverack with seperate outs to the tops and sub. Immediate difference, much better. With a few tweaks in the 55-67 hz range and it sounded awesome!
I then A/B'd it with the Nx720 both 700 watts, now I really like the Nx720 and it is just a 15" but the ELX118p hammered it.
With both at 3/4 volume or at full I would turn one off then the other. There was a huge difference when I turned the ELX188 down but little more than a noticeable difference when I turned the NX720 down.
I will gig the EV tommorow and report back if I have any issues but this thing really thumps when set up right.
I suspect there is some signal loss going through the cabinets like I did at first, it may be from the xover in the tops. What ever it is you can solve it without a Driverack by simply taking the control room( or an aux. out but that would only give one channel) out from your mixer to the sub and control the level from the mixer.
I hoe this helps people figure out what they want.
cheers,
R
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 04:17:02 pm by Rollieo »
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Doug Fowler

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Re: EV ELX118P Sub
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2011, 04:16:44 pm »

"Rollieo" -

Please go to your profile and fix your display name per the rules.

Thank you for your cooperation.


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Loren Aguey

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Re: EV ELX118P Sub
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 02:57:59 pm »

Hi all:
I just had to write to share my experience.
First off I am a soundman turned DJ and I have had many systems over the last 15 years or so.
 I have been using Yorkville Nx720s Powered subs (700 watts). I just got a set of ELX115p's a couple months ago and loved them so much I had to get a ELX118p to see how they were.
When I first tested it I set it up in the simplest way, to the sub then the top (set to the with sub setting).
When I cranked it up the bass response was way back in the mix, I had to crank the sub volume to full and it was just OK.

NEXT I set it up the way I use things, through the DBX Driverack with seperate outs to the tops and sub. Immediate difference, much better. With a few tweaks in the 55-67 hz range and it sounded awesome!
I then A/B'd it with the Nx720 both 700 watts, now I really like the Nx720 and it is just a 15" but the ELX118p hammered it.
With both at 3/4 volume or at full I would turn one off then the other. There was a huge difference when I turned the ELX188 down but little more than a noticeable difference when I turned the NX720 down.
I will gig the EV tommorow and report back if I have any issues but this thing really thumps when set up right.
I suspect there is some signal loss going through the cabinets like I did at first, it may be from the xover in the tops. What ever it is you can solve it without a Driverack by simply taking the control room( or an aux. out but that would only give one channel) out from your mixer to the sub and control the level from the mixer.
I hoe this helps people figure out what they want.
cheers,
R

Well I suppose we have different definitions of whats acceptable output from a sub. Interesting though I've used the nx720p and would take it anyday over the ELX118p. Yorkville crams a lot of value into their NX series boxes if you ask me. As stated, in this room the sub is indeed being fed from an external crossover. And for a self powered box with internal processing you really shouldn't have to use an external dsp or setup for aux fed sub to get the most out of it.

The house dj brought his mackie 15" back and we A/B'ed them, no contest the EV output considerably less volume and less LF extension when both were set to unity.

But I digress...I'm glad you're happy with them.
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Jesse Balfour

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Re: EV ELX118P Sub
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2011, 06:12:27 am »

This is for a small club with a limited budget. First a little history to put things into better perspective. Since I've worked there we've gone through a few subs. We started with an underpowered JBL MPro series 18" sub, not sure what the exact model was. It was only getting around 350 watts so I can't completely knock the sub but needless to say the sound/output was uninspiring. We needed at least two of those and they needed to be properly powered.

Next up was a Mackie SWA1501 borrowed from a house DJ. It performed about as I expected. Acceptable given it was being asked to do more than it was designed to do. Sound quality was ok, better than the JBL, but still lacking for the room.

Next we got to borrow the SWA1801 for a couple months. Drastic difference. For once we had a borderline acceptable low end output for bands and dj's that we do in the room. A few regulars commented on the difference almost immediately. Two of these would have been plenty for the room. Sound quality was the best the room has heard, and what I'd call decent, but at least it had enough output.

But eventually those had to go and it was time to buy a new sub on a shoestring budget. The EV live x series came to mind because of its price vs specs so we decided on the ELX118p.

Holy shit what a disappointment. Easily the worst of any of the afore mentioned subs including the under powered low end JBL. This sub does not perform even remotely close to what it's specs say on paper. I realize that specs are often fluffed and need to be taken with a grain of salt, but I'm of the opinion that they should at least give you a semi accurate ballpark of how the speaker will perform. Not so in this case.

As soon as we fired it up I noticed a very peaky response in the 80-100hz range. The louder it gets, the lack of any substantial output below 60hz becomes more apparent. When boosting 40 and 50hz on the FOH graph, it got louder but certainly not in that range and it did not sound happy doing it. Specs claim it will do 42hz +/- 3dB and 32hz +/-10dB. Nope, not even close. Nothing full or rich sounding about this sub.

But I thought, we'll see how it does with a band. The kick was weak, and to get anything out of it I had to push way too hard. So when pumping kick and bass guitar through it, the sub is in limit the whole time. To get out of limit I had to back WAY off to the point of the sub being barely noticeable. Any time I tried to get anything out of it it would be in limit, and eventually shut off into protect mode.

Full disclosure: any sub that has seen this room is admittedly pushed too hard. I have an 8-10 piece funk band and a packed dancefloor so its hard to just settle with weak low end because it really needs it. I wish the owner would sack up and get a real sub setup, but it's not gonna happen. And in his defense when he took over he bought us a badly needed new mixer, snake, mics etc..., and bumped up our pay, when the old guy wouldn't dream of it.

So yes the EV was being pushed too hard but it doesn't even put up a fight. And at no point did it ever sound good when within its limits. And was the only sub to have gone into protect, especially with such weak output. The 15" mackie performed way better and never cut out.

The thought occurred that maybe this is a faulty sub. But when you plug it in and turn it on it works, and you can crank it gets louder so it appears to me that its just not a good product.

I haven't heard anything else in the Live X series and the 12" box gets good reviews. But this sub is just plain weak.

Pro's: Very compact, and very lightweight.

Con's: Sound quality, output, general buyers remorse etc..

It's going back and now I think we might be in the market for a used LS801p or HPR 181.

Sorry to hear of your trials and tribs with subs in that room. For what it's worth I have around 15 years of live experience running everything from small vox rigs through to large touring rigs.
I recently purchased 3 of the EV ELX  powered subs for my 5 piece rock/pop band, 2 on FOH  and 1 for drum fill coupled with a JBL PRX512, as to the FOH.
I had been running the jbl prx618'S on the bum but wasn't completely satisfied with the results. A friend of mine runs a P.A hire company and gave me a pair of the EV'S to road test, as I stated I ran them with the JBL PRX 512's on the top in an Aux fed sub config.

Results....Better low end response than the JBL's and a ton more power and all in a slightly smaller footprint. in fact I was so happy with the EV's I bought 3 of them, tried my hardest to get them to limit but to no avail, they just took whatever I through at them. Kik, bass, Keys and floor toms sounded alive and punchy and we do 200- 300 peep rooms.
I really don't understand after testing these subs out for myself how you had such a bad time with it???? Perhaps a faulty box? very strange?. I wouldn't call us a "blow your head off" type of band but we certainly don't tippy tap either. These subs really did perform brilliantly and I have been a die hard JBL man forever, but these subs for the coin/weight/footprint are really very good, in my most humble opinion.   
« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 06:17:12 am by JessB »
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