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#2924506 - 05/01/18 10:33 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
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Hopefully Henry gets the boot. They really need to sell off everything except the guitar division. Gibson purchases of other brands, like consumer electronics, software, pianos, etc. have never been viable for them. I suspect Epiphone makes money, & plenty of Gibson guitars would sell if they were priced to compete with Fender. But the important thing is to get rid of the a***ole in the CEO's chair.
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#2924524 - 05/01/18 11:11 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
DocPate Offline
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As Forrest Gump says, "I ain't a smart man..." but I do know Gibson's problems are similar to most of the Industry in the U.S. these days...lack of foresight in their innovation. Industry leaders spend so much time and effort in defending their existing market share while trying to maintain profitability to appease the stockholders they look to the MBAs to solve the problems. I've sat through a few of the typical planning sessions led by the Harvard MBAs who begin by getting a board of directors to establish the Mission, Vision and Value Statement for the Company. What starts out with good intentions gets word-smithed to satisfy the legal group...etc, etc. See where I'm going? Every thing is inward looking when tomorrow's customer is out there looking for a new way to improve their lot. The successful company is focused on the future and is willing to give up old technology and invest heavily in the future. Example:. Taylor Guitars. They had the vision to build on on-board electronics letting Gibson and Martin continue to market their acoustic guitars. Yamaha and other manufacturers focused on quality and lean manufacturing including six-sigma programs to develop high quality, excellent performance instruments for the mass market.

To succeed now is much like the task the companies like Sears is facing. They can't sell off assets fast enough to keep up with the cash flow needs. If they can't innovate quickly enough to re-establish the need for the brand they are doomed.

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#2924530 - 05/01/18 11:20 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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I've been seeing blow-out prices on some Gibson models in GC for the last month; maybe someone knew this was coming?
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#2924534 - 05/01/18 11:42 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
desertbluesman Offline
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I do not care about Gibson dying off. They priced themselves way outta my "interest in purchasing their products" a long time ago.
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#2924535 - 05/01/18 11:44 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Winston Psmith
I've been seeing blow-out prices on some Gibson models in GC for the last month; maybe someone knew this was coming?


Still waiting for the Super 400s to get blown out at fire sale prices.
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#2924545 - 05/01/18 12:17 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: desertbluesman]
DocPate Offline
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Originally Posted By: desertbluesman
I do not care about Gibson dying off. They priced themselves way outta my "interest in purchasing their products" a long time ago.


That's the point Dave. There's no excuse for any manufacturer to price themselves out of their market. It's really simple: (1) identify your customer (market). (2) identify his needs and wants. (3) identify where you and your competition are not meeting those needs. (4) innovate to meet the customer's needs.

Now, when the manufacturer convinces himself that he is satisfying the needs of his customer better than his competitor yet his sales doesn't reflect that, something is wrong. The manufacturer doesn't know his customer.

That's Gibson's dilemma. They thought their brand equity was sufficient to support the price. That's what happens when a market leader looks inward.

You, being in the construction industry, know how a large supplier can get complacent and just keep raising prices believing their name and size justify the cost. A new, great service company

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#2924550 - 05/01/18 12:34 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Scott Fraser]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Here's what I really don't understand -

When I worked in Music Retail, the Guitars we had in stock were Guitars that we had ordered and paid for. Fender, Hamer, Epiphone were not sending us truckloads of Guitars on consignment, in the hopes that they'd sell: they SOLD us those Guitars. Once we had them in stock, it wasn't Fender's problem, or Epiphone's problem if they didn't sell, it was our problem. They were our products, it was up to us to sell them and make money. When the store closed, my buddy wound up with a storage unit full of gear we hadn't sold out of; he may still have some of it?

The point being, if GC is full of Gibson Guitars, didn't GC buy all those Guitars? If that's the case, then Gibson isn't going to be able to save nor spend their way out of this episode. The market is glutted, Gibson has priced themselves beyond the reach of almost any beginner, and even many players. I don't see how they're going to substantially increase Guitar sales, in a dying market, period. Having said that, if prices keep dropping, I'll keep my eye out for a nice Black Les Paul.

OTOH, if all of those Guitars are consigned, or under some arrangement where Gibson puts them on the wall (at least the premium or Custom Shop models), but GC only pays when they sell, the situation is even worse. Gibson is pushing out a luxury product line that even their largest distributor can't move. This seems unlikely, in light of Henry J's rant about how it's all the retailers' fault for putting the Gibsons out of reach, but I have to wonder about their thinking, at this point. I can envision a meeting where some sales rep complains that the $2,000 Guitars aren't moving, so some other genius suggests raising the price to $4,500.
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#2924627 - 05/01/18 06:27 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Quote:
The point being, if GC is full of Gibson Guitars, didn't GC buy all those Guitars?


Not AFAIK.

Gibson’s business model has been that, in order to be an approved Gibson dealer, you had to preorder a certain minimum number of guitars. My assumption is that those massive preorders are only partially paid for in advance, the balance being on consignment.

Send too many consignment guitars back, lose your contract.
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#2924687 - 05/02/18 05:04 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz
Quote:
The point being, if GC is full of Gibson Guitars, didn't GC buy all those Guitars?


Not AFAIK.

Gibson’s business model has been that, in order to be an approved Gibson dealer, you had to preorder a certain minimum number of guitars. My assumption is that those massive preorders are only partially paid for in advance, the balance being on consignment.

Send too many consignment guitars back, lose your contract.


@Dannyalcatraz - The arrangement a while back, as I understood it from friends who still worked in retail, was that Gibson originally required a yearly order of $50,000 worth of product, to maintain your dealership, then, at some point decided to bump it up to $100,000. Don't know if that meant combined Gibson/Epiphone, or just Gibson?

If Gibson is pushing out high-priced Guitars that aren't selling, it just shows that they're paying no attention to what's happening with the Guitar market, which has been our contention here in the Forum for some time; these guys are hopelessly out of touch with reality.
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#2924758 - 05/02/18 09:21 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Sounds about right.

They definitely weren’t moving as well as comparably priced PRS Guitars here in D/FW.

I knew of at least one place that was proud of their Gibson room. They also carried G&L and Reverend- both almost uniquely to the area. I could have bought 2 of almost anything in there that day, and walked out thoroughly disappointed in the Gibsons, impressed by the G&Ls, and dreaming about the Reverends.

24 hours later, I was shopping for my first Reverend in earnest.

A year later, that store had closed,
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#2924831 - 05/02/18 01:56 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz

They definitely weren’t moving as well as comparably priced PRS Guitars here in D/FW


Funny you should mention PRS in that context; remember when Gibsons seemed almost affordable, compared to PRS? Pepperidge Farm does.

Sorry, couldn't resist, but my point still holds.
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#2924865 - 05/02/18 06:10 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
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Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
grin
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#2925024 - 05/03/18 09:45 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
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Hearing that Gibson recently filed bankruptcy, I've been checking some of the finance oriented mags (Bloomberg & the like) along w/my usual weekly news roundups (Economist, The Week, Time, etc).
So far no mentions of that action as big news.
The fact of bankruptcy is generally actually a sign that a company has a good chance of recapturing it's status as an ongoing concern...or so we may hope.
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#2925048 - 05/03/18 11:32 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: d]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
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My friend has a slew of PRS guitars on consignment in his music shop. Nobody looks at them... they're becoming unfashionable, he says, because kids look at them and see Nickelback and Creed, who aren't passing the "cool test" as time goes on... when offered them used to straight up buy for the shop, he won't... You may be able to get them for cheap in the coming years... or the lawyers that own them might just hold onto them because they don't need the money.

Anyway, I believe if you do an inflation table the price of a new Gibson today is on par, if not a little cheaper, than it should be for today's equivalent dollar. Yeah, they used to be $900... when a new car was $6,000 and a big house was $70,000... A "big" house in my area (say, 2,500 sq ft... and while this is good for a nation-wide comparison it's out of the range of what the majority of people here can afford) can be had for $275,000 +. A nice new car? $45,000? Just basic transport brand new... $18,000?

So what's changed? Well, most of us here on this board count as "old," and that influences our judgment of things like this (though we might buy houses and cars for modern prices). And while I know older guys with a max of two old Gibsons they bought brand new in the early 60s and that's all they've ever played and they've kept them as brand new looking as possible (and will get a hell of return when they sell them), most people now want a small fleet of guitars, so then each item is less and less valuable to them in a way. I have people ask me all the time why I don't sell all of my "perfectly good" guitars and get two "incredible" custom made or high-end guitars, instead... and the answer is two guitars wouldn't cover the range of gigs I do, which is why I accumated so many guitars out of necessity...

The other thing is "diminishing returns." Is there a great difference between, say, an $800 new imported D'Angelico semi-hollow and a $3,600 American-made ES 335? No... the price difference comes from the cost of labor difference in where the people gluing them together were standing, but the equipment and techniques and materials used are exactly the same, so you're paying for that "Made in America" stamped on the back of the headstock, and most of us long ago got used to having a house full of things imported from Asia that were just as good (and in a lot of cases better) than American-made products, for cheaper... so we don't place a premium on American manufacturing.

I'm also a little cheap by nature, clumsy, and know how to find a great guitar that other people would overlook.

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#2925049 - 05/03/18 11:42 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
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Also, which keeps needing to be repeated, Gibson's guitar sales are very good...... a billion dollars in sales a year. That's not why they're facing bankruptcy. The guitar part of the business is what the investors are keeping, because it is extremely profitable and a market leader... Henry J engaged in leveraged buyouts of other companies and then had no liquid assets to do anything with them... they all just became boat anchors around the main company's neck. Get rid of them and you have a business that's doing very well... but one a lot of people resent in a lot of ways, but it seems the investors know Henry J is toxic in that regard, too.

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#2925224 - 05/04/18 08:40 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
Larryz Offline
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I know Gibson can produce a nice Les Paul for $1,600 as I bought one this past year. I paid about $300 for my Les Paul Deluxe back in '72. So, that's the rate of inflation for me LOL! I think if Gibson gets back to making nice guitars at a decent price they could come out of the Chapter 11. The can make higher end guitars and lower end guitars for pros and beginners especially keeping the Epiphone line...$800 to $3,000 would be a good price range. +1 they have to compete with (or get more into the market) with the guitars being made overseas as they are putting out some nice stuff these days... cool
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#2925336 - 05/05/18 05:52 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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$1,600 is essentially the price for a new SG Standard.

I may be old, but I don't expect prices to be the same as they were when I was 10, or 20, or even 50, at this point in life: still, some of the prices for Gibson gear are absurd. That $1,600 SG might be right in line with adjustment for inflation, but some of those RI models are just milking the stratospheric prices of originals; nothing can convince me that 1959 RI is worth $10,000 unless I see some poor soul making the entire thing by hand, in which case, he or she should have their own shop.

While there has been a tremendous upsurge in quality among import Guitars, an Epiphone is NOT just a budget Gibson. While their brand identity is now inextricably tied to Gibson, the woods are not the same, and parts are not universally interchangeable, between Gibson and Epiphone. I've admired the build quality and finish work on current Epiphones - I often find that their necks and fret work are nicer and smoother than Gibson's - but they don't quite have the feel, and dropping a set of expensive Gibson pickups in, isn't enough to make up the difference, IME.
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#2925342 - 05/05/18 07:02 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Winston Psmith Offline
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And, here's how they're going to start pulling in cash: these Epi LP Standards just jumped from $419 to $469, in fact, if you click on the $419 'plain top' in the lower left of the GC listing, it'll pop up at $469. Keep in mind, this price bump will also apply to all those LP Standards currently hanging in GC, everywhere. Sam Ash has them at $499? That seems like quite a bump, from what, a couple of months back?

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top

Same Guitar at Sam Ash, for $499

Edit: If you're wondering how Gibson/Epiphone can rise the price on Guitars that have already shipped, and are hanging in stores right now, the answer is something called the MAP, or Minimum Advertised Price. Companies can set a MAP for a product, and penalize dealers who advertise at a lower price. This is why most online companies have essentially the same prices across the board.

Raising the MAP like this can be a short-term win for dealers: they can look like good guys by selling to their regular customers at the old price, while making a slightly better margin off of new customers, or online customers, selling existing stock at the new price. The flip side is that when they go to re-order, the wholesale prices will have gone up, as well.


Edited by Winston Psmith (05/05/18 07:20 AM)
Edit Reason: new info . . .
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#2925349 - 05/05/18 07:46 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Winston Psmith
$1,600 is essentially the price for a new SG Standard.

I may be old, but I don't expect prices to be the same as they were when I was 10, or 20, or even 50, at this point in life: still, some of the prices for Gibson gear are absurd. That $1,600 SG might be right in line with adjustment for inflation, but some of those RI models are just milking the stratospheric prices of originals; nothing can convince me that 1959 RI is worth $10,000 unless I see some poor soul making the entire thing by hand, in which case, he or she should have their own shop.

While there has been a tremendous upsurge in quality among import Guitars, an Epiphone is NOT just a budget Gibson. While their brand identity is now inextricably tied to Gibson, the woods are not the same, and parts are not universally interchangeable, between Gibson and Epiphone. I've admired the build quality and finish work on current Epiphones - I often find that their necks and fret work are nicer and smoother than Gibson's - but they don't quite have the feel, and dropping a set of expensive Gibson pickups in, isn't enough to make up the difference, IME.


+1 on the RI $10,000 models...Gibson still owns Epiphone and the Bankruptcy issue will affect future decisions and prices. Epiphone is a lower end/priced guitar and I can guarantee that dropping in a set of US made 57 Gibson humbuckers makes a huge difference as I own one. My buddy dropped in a set on his Sheraton and on his LP model and they made a huge difference as well. Epiphone increased the price on my ES-175 to $1,000 with the US pups and upgraded pots. They are now doing the same with the P90's using US pups on the ES-295. They run about $800. The difference in price is well worth it on the 175, as it costs more to buy the lower grade and upgrade the pups than it does to just buy it already made up. I haven't tried the 295 so I can't speak to the P90's.

I think Epiphone makes the best deal on the market for beginning guitar players and the quality of the instrument for the price. The upgraded models cost a bit more but are 1/4 the price of the comparable Gibson models and sound just as good IMHO as the pups make the biggest difference on electric guitars. The play and feel are important as well and I think Epiphone does an excellent job.

But, don't take my word for it...try one out at your local GC with the upgraded pups. I think you will hear the difference. However, those Gibson models sound just great as always, as do the Heritage models. They are just a cut above. I could go as high as $3,000 if I sell off some of my stuff. I like to stay under or around $2,000 and I'm willing to buy used as well. I don't have any desire to own a $10,000 dollar model of anything (even if I could afford it) whether re-issue or the real thing... cool


Edited by Larryz (05/05/18 07:48 AM)
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#2925369 - 05/05/18 09:37 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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@Larryz - I've found the build quality on the Epi semi-hollow or hollow-body Guitars to be very good, particularly the Korean-made models, and I know a number of players who have been very happy dropping Gibson or other after-market pups in them. OTOH, my G-400 never had the same solid feel as my SG Specials; I also didn't think I really needed 3 SG's. My Epi LP is due for some upgrades, so I'll have a full report, within the next month or so.

I feel that the PRS SE series, their budget line, meets or exceeds the highest build quality standards for import Guitars, however, they start at around $600-700, which puts them at the level of the more expensive Epiphone models.
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#2925375 - 05/05/18 10:16 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
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I'll be looking forward to the LP upgrade report Winston! Epi has been upgrading their pups lately and they are keeping up with the US pups more and more... thu
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#2925392 - 05/05/18 12:37 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
Fred_C Offline
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Registered: 06/12/10
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I very much agree with Bro. Larry and Winston. I strongly believe that you can take a $750-1,000 guitar and turn it into a stage-worthy instrument that will compete with high-end guitars that sell for over $2,000 by simply upgrading the pickups. If you want to further improve on the performance, you can upgrade the pots and caps.

I am a believer, because as you are all aware, I have upgraded my '97 Epi Sheraton II and my Ibanez AF-125 Custom with new pickups and new electronics in the case of the Sheraton. The improvement has been nothing short of breathtaking. I am very happy with both guitars and can highly recommend this approach as a cost-effective alternative to spending thousands of dollars on a high end guitar.

P.S. No thanks, Gibson. No interest.
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#2925464 - 05/05/18 09:44 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Fred_C]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
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Quote:
I strongly believe that you can take a $750-1,000 guitar and turn it into a stage-worthy instrument that will compete with high-end guitars that sell for over $2,000 by simply upgrading the pickups.


I’ve found that SOME don’t even need that.*

For example, I’ve bought quite a few Reverend guitars, and several of them have P90s. I also bought one other guitar with a trio of P90s which sounded good...but not as good as the ones that were stock in the Reverends. I eventually replaced the P90s in that guitar with atrio of Bareknuckle Stockholm P90s, just to bring them up to par with the one in the Reverends.

Most of my Revs cost at or just under $1000.

And it isn’t just the P90s. They have some guitars with fillertron-inspired miniHBs that are absolutely killer. And Railhammer pickups (one of his spinoff companies) have made an appearance in the Reverend line as well.





* Full disclosure, I don’t gig.

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