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Computer speakers - 2.1 or 5.1 (or 7.1)?

  1. #1
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Default Computer speakers - 2.1 or 5.1 (or 7.1)?

    Many of you are looking to add great sounding speaker systems to your computer. All other things considered (speaker power output, quality, size, etc.), the dilemma faced is whether to go for 2.1 or 5.1.

    So what should be the ideal option? Of course, the 5.1 (or 7.1) will obviously cost more but let us put that factor aside. Many companies advertise the speaker system as capable of ______ W of power, where the total power is the sum of power handling capability of each speaker.

    Remember that 5.1 does not mean more power.

    Your decision should be solely be based on the content that you will listen to. Because if you are listening to pure music, you are getting stereo sound with simulated surround. In this case a 2.1 system is more than sufficient.

    However, if you are going to play DVDs (or Blu Ray) then a 5.1 (or 7.1) speaker system may be worth considering. Then again, what about speaker placement. Where are you going to place the rear surround speakers. While watching a movie on a computer's small screen, you are most likely to be sitting at a desk in the corner of the room. The front speakers will be right next to the computer while the rear speakers will be behind you, at least 10 feet away. or you may be forced to place them next to the front speakers.

    Hardly the ideal surround setup.

    The 2.1 speakers will be able to simulate surround sound that is quite acceptable in the close vicinity of your watching space.

    So in my opinion, save your money and stick to a 2.1 surround speaker system for your PC.

    Opinions please.
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  2. #2
    kirankumargb
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    Yes that is correct.

    unless you are having a big screen and work with wireless keboard and mouse, dont go for 5.1, 2.1 is more than enough.

    Even if you go for 5.1 and set it up it wont give you the actual front and rare effects of DVD it will all feel the same, 5.1 effect is good when speakers are atleast 6-8 feet away (all the speakers).

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    It is my humble opinion of course, but laptop/desktop should be used to
    do computer stuff, work, and browse.

    music should be listened on a good cd/dvd player with
    a good amp and two speakers.

    movies should be watched on a decent sized tv with a good
    receiver and 5 or 7 speakers and a subwoofer.

    this is what I do.

    I have two separate systems, one for music and the
    other for HT which I haven't completely assembled
    after a move ;-)

    -F
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  4. #4
    Ookla
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    before thinking of speakers we should improve our on-board sound, most of the entry level motherboards supports 2 channel sound, by adding good quality sound card(5.1 or 7.1) only then we can use full potential of the speakers, on some advanced sound cards u get Dolby PRO LOGIC ll which converts 2 channel sound into 5.1 or 7.1.

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    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ookla View Post
    before thinking of speakers we should improve our on-board sound, most of the entry level motherboards supports 2 channel sound, by adding good quality sound card(5.1 or 7.1) only then we can use full potential of the speakers, on some advanced sound cards u get Dolby PRO LOGIC ll which converts 2 channel sound into 5.1 or 7.1.
    I already said "all other things being considered".
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  6. #6
    18lama
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    I have a 5.1 speaker setup. The new multichannel MP3s and Flac sound so much better than on standard speakers. The sound quality is very crisp and clear.

  7. #7
    rajan1311
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    What 5.1 system would u recommend for an HTPC setup (hooked to an LCD TV). Plz give suggestions for all budgets (like upto 10k,10-20k,30k+ for speakers only).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 18lama View Post
    I have a 5.1 speaker setup. The new multichannel MP3s and Flac sound so much better than on standard speakers. The sound quality is very crisp and clear.
    Cool. Nice to hear your opinion. But are you comparing same quality speakers?
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  9. #9
    newprouser
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    Quote Originally Posted by farce View Post
    It is my humble opinion of course, but laptop/desktop should be used to
    do computer stuff, work, and browse.-F
    but the same thing can be achieved by connecting a good amp/spkr with ur compu , isn't it ?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajan1311 View Post
    What 5.1 system would u recommend for an HTPC setup (hooked to an LCD TV). Plz give suggestions for all budgets (like upto 10k,10-20k,30k+ for speakers only).
    For an HTPC, you will be watching the content on large screen, sitting comfortably on the couch (hopefully ). I think on another thread I had recommened Bose.

    Note: Bose is not the best but they are decent enough. A friend of mine in UK swears by Wharfdale. Another guy in US told me JBL were awesome.

    For the price, it is best to check on eBay and look for local resellers.
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  11. #11
    rajan1311
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    also, most of the entry lvl mobos have 5.1 onboard.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by newprouser View Post
    but the same thing can be achieved by connecting a good amp/spkr with ur compu , isn't it ?
    Oh yes, definitely. But in that case we are not talking about computer speakers, are we? We are talking about proper speakers meant for the Amp.
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  13. #13
    rajan1311
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    But BOSE is gr8 for the 30k+ range. What abt the ppl on a budget ?

  14. #14
    18lama
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    I am comparing a 5.1 speakers with 2.1 logitech speakers.

  15. #15
    rajan1311
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    Quote Originally Posted by newprouser View Post
    but the same thing can be achieved by connecting a good amp/spkr with ur compu , isn't it ?
    How will u connect ur AMP ??? Most of the AMPs do not support new graphic cards, its a software issue no1 wants 2 solve.

  16. #16
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 18lama View Post
    I am comparing a 5.1 speakers with 2.1 logitech speakers.
    OK. That is a fair comparison. So you are definitely recommending 5.1.
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  17. #17
    rajan1311
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    I meant via HDMI.

  18. #18
    18lama
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    Also my 5.1 has an inbuilt amplifier, which is the primary reason why the sound is always loud and never muffled, even when it is connected to a PC as it is now. Besides it also has a prologic mode which upmux the sound output from 2 channels to 6 channels.

  19. #19
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajan1311 View Post
    How will u connect ur AMP ??? Most of the AMPs do not support new graphic cards, its a software issue no1 wants 2 solve.
    Don't we get a coaxial out on the new sound cards?
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  20. #20
    rajan1311
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    almost all 5.1 systems have an inbuilt amp na ??(in the sub) ??

    Quote Originally Posted by just4kix View Post
    Don't we get a coaxial out on the new sound cards?
    u do ??... i did not know...

    But those come in entry lvl cards too ?
    Last edited by rajan1311; 8th July 2009 at 10:11 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  21. #21
    newprouser
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajan1311 View Post
    I meant via HDMI.
    I don't know abt HDMI...

  22. #22
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajan1311 View Post
    almost all 5.1 systems have an inbuilt amp na ??(in the sub) ??



    u do ??... i did not know...

    But those come in entry lvl cards too ?
    Even I am not sure myself. I thought that the high end ones have a coaxial out.
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  23. #23
    18lama
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    I recently saw a DVD (original) Indian Jones and the raiders of the lost ark. It had 5.1 dolby sound encoded within the movie. I played the DVD on my dad's pc which has a logitech 2.1 system. I could not hear the dialogues properly at all. I tried and tweaked all the settings (in sound card control panel and video player software...but to no awail)

    Than I played the same DVD on my PC, the sound was superb!! all the dialouges crystal clear, never had to even look at the subs...I know you own a large collection of DVDs, I think you should get a 5.1 system for that only...You'll just love the way the movies sound so much better on a 5.1.

  24. #24
    rajan1311
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    newer ones have it, i saw a few on the egg(newegg) but i could not find in india. Btw, is it worth investing in a high end sound card ??? I have always used an onboard....

  25. #25
    saurav_k
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    I bought an intex 3000 watt 4.1 speaker system 6 years ago. It is still working fine. The woofer went down some days ago due to massive voltage fluctuation. Got it serviced recently. It is working as good as a new speaker system now.

    Creative, Altec Lansing are good options at a moderate price range.

  26. #26
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajan1311 View Post
    newer ones have it, i saw a few on the egg(newegg) but i could not find in india. Btw, is it worth investing in a high end sound card ??? I have always used an onboard....
    I do not think so.
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  27. #27
    newprouser
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    well then, is there a noticeble difference bet. 5.1 and 7.1 ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by newprouser View Post
    well then, is there a noticeble difference bet. 5.1 and 7.1 ??
    Only if the soundtrack is encoded in Dolby Digital EX or DTS-ES or Dolby HD, etc.
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  29. #29
    rajan1311
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    and those cards cost $200+......

  30. #30
    18lama
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    My on board sound card works just fine. It plays most type of multichannel audio and video files. No need to get a creative sound cards, they suck big time when it comes to compatibility.

  31. #31
    rajan1311
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    the cheapest card i could find e-tail with coax:
    Theitdepot - M-Audio Revolution 7.1 High-Definition 7.1 Surround Sound PCI Card

    10k !!

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    Default which company speakers r good for pc ?

    My computer speakers recently got damaged during transportation , but my woofer whose cabinet is damaged still works , but my speakers are broken .
    which company speakers are good to buy ? ( i am not thinking to buy woofer again , just the speakers would cater my needs )
    The speakers r for a normal desktop computer . I do play movies n songs quite often .

    Any suggestions as of which company speakers would be good ?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by padmini View Post
    My computer speakers recently got damaged during transportation , but my woofer whose cabinet is damaged still works , but my speakers are broken .
    which company speakers are good to buy ? ( i am not thinking to buy woofer again , just the speakers would cater my needs )
    The speakers r for a normal desktop computer . I do play movies n songs quite often .

    Any suggestions as of which company speakers would be good ?
    Antec Lansing or Logitech, are the two names that come to the mind immediately.
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  34. #34
    Vasundra
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    Ive come to a conclusion if i want to watch movies i will have to use 5.1 speakers and if I jus want to hear :some music in my pc I sould go for the2.1.
    2.1 is cheaper but still confusing which one to go for

  35. #35
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    Unless the 5.1 speakers are properly placed, you will not get the effect.

    Usually, a computer (desktop) is located at the corner of a room. The Front Left/Center/Right are placed close together around the monitor. But where are Rear Surround Left/Right placed, that is the question.

    If the Rear Surround Left/Right are also placed in front then sound is distorted. If they are placed way behind on the rear wall, they are too far away to yield the pleasure of surround sound. I hope you get the gist.

    Here is the ideal placement.

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  36. #36
    ShAdOwCoN
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    If J is human he would have got bored

    how r u guys so sure that ookla is J ?

  37. #37
    18lama
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    ^ mostly because he was hiding behind a German proxy... I think...:lol:

    Oh and whenever he shows up there is unusual amount of activity in all "not getting enough speed while downloading" threads, followed by lots of uber speed Reliance screenshots.

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    hey guyz iam having a 5.1 iball speaker system...but i donot get the full output..i recieve only stereo sound output ie 2 channel...that 2 chanel sound is equally divided into other 4 speakers i think..they r not getting the full potential...what should i do now..

    my speaker has a male to male pins.. i mean one red and white which is coinnected to the woofer and other pin is connected to the sound port

    i have sound max hd audio on my mobo....willl buying a good sound card does anything good to me??

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
    hey guyz iam having a 5.1 iball speaker system...but i donot get the full output..i recieve only stereo sound output ie 2 channel...that 2 chanel sound is equally divided into other 4 speakers i think..they r not getting the full potential...what should i do now..

    my speaker has a male to male pins.. i mean one red and white which is coinnected to the woofer and other pin is connected to the sound port

    i have sound max hd audio on my mobo....willl buying a good sound card does anything good to me??
    What source are you playing?

    To get 5.1 surround sound effect, you must be playing a DVD or content that is encoded with the Dolby Digital 5.1 (or higher) or DTS 5.1 (or higher) sound.
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    the problem is not of the source here...the prob is the sound is getting eually diveded into four speakers ...they r not getting the full inpiut to produce the full output...someone mentioned here that all the mobos r getting 2 channel suppoert only..so may be thts the prob...

    will sound card provide a 5 channel output.?

  41. #41
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    I'm having two 2.1 speaker systems ........ now i want to use both of them while watching movies ..........
    but i'm not able to do so ....... this is because as soon as i connect the second set of 2.1 speaker system at the front end it doesn't work .the sound only comes out of the first set which i have already plugged at the back end.

    And yeah forgot to mention it's a DELL inspiron 530 desktop with Foxconn G33M02 motherboard having realtek HD audio sound driver. i tried my hands on the realtek HD audio manager but couldn't find the way out.

    so could somebody please help me in this regard.

    thnxx in advance .

  42. #42
    rajan1311
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    i dont think you can do that bro......

    Check your settings. Mine has an option where it automatically switches off the rear panel when anything in front is plugged in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rajan1311 View Post
    i dont think you can do that bro......

    Check your settings. Mine has an option where it automatically switches off the rear panel when anything in front is plugged in.
    mine to has this option although ...............

    but there is another option as well under the sound manager heading which makes both the speakers work but the drawback is that one works as a default one and the other is referred to as a communication module and thus works moreover like a headphone only when other application like voice call require it . otherwise it remains mute and only the default one works for that while .although i can switch between rear and front end speakers by changing the default one and making the other set as communication ones' .

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    can i have some other senior members help on the above mentioned issue ............

    anyways thnxx in advance .

  45. #45
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    As I do not have a 5.1 speaker system for the desktop, I am unable to help further. Sorry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by just4kix View Post
    As I do not have a 5.1 speaker system for the desktop, I am unable to help further. Sorry.
    thnxx for ur reply ........

    anyways the querie doesn't entitle about 5.1 speaker system but infact two sets of 2.1 speaker systems .....

  47. #47
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    My guess is that you will have some tweaking to do with the settings of the sound card.
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  48. #48
    rajan1311
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    Quote Originally Posted by eruptionjoojo View Post
    mine to has this option although ...............

    but there is another option as well under the sound manager heading which makes both the speakers work but the drawback is that one works as a default one and the other is referred to as a communication module and thus works moreover like a headphone only when other application like voice call require it . otherwise it remains mute and only the default one works for that while .although i can switch between rear and front end speakers by changing the default one and making the other set as communication ones' .
    sry bro i got no idea about this.

  49. #49
    oo7
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    guys it is so simple to play 5.1 channel speakers.

    If your 5.1 channel speakers AUX wire then put it into the CPU green port.

    if you do not have AUX then to have to buy soundcard or amp
    Last edited by oo7; 15th August 2009 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  50. #50
    rajan1311
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    Buddy, the issue is to connect 2 sets of 2.1 speakers on the same system.

  51. #51
    oo7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajan1311 View Post
    Buddy, the issue is to connect 2 sets of 2.1 speakers on the same system.
    OK for that you need soundcard or amp
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  52. #52
    rajan1311
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    Quote Originally Posted by money_ms View Post
    OK for that you need soundcard or amp
    Please explain how you will do that with a sound card ?

  53. #53
    18lama
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    Quote Originally Posted by eruptionjoojo View Post
    I'm having two 2.1 speaker systems ........ now i want to use both of them while watching movies ..........
    but i'm not able to do so ....... this is because as soon as i connect the second set of 2.1 speaker system at the front end it doesn't work .the sound only comes out of the first set which i have already plugged at the back end.

    And yeah forgot to mention it's a DELL inspiron 530 desktop with Foxconn G33M02 motherboard having realtek HD audio sound driver. i tried my hands on the realtek HD audio manager but couldn't find the way out.

    so could somebody please help me in this regard.

    thnxx in advance .
    can you post a pic of how you have plugged in the speakers into your PC?

    I am using a 5.1 system on PC...so I might be able to solve your problem, but I need to see how you have connected the speakers.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by just4kix View Post
    Unless the 5.1 speakers are properly placed, you will not get the effect.

    Usually, a computer (desktop) is located at the corner of a room. The Front Left/Center/Right are placed close together around the monitor. But where are Rear Surround Left/Right placed, that is the question.

    If the Rear Surround Left/Right are also placed in front then sound is distorted. If they are placed way behind on the rear wall, they are too far away to yield the pleasure of surround sound. I hope you get the gist.

    Here is the ideal placement.

    The config is not suitable for PC. It's meant for a home theatre !

  55. #55
    rajan1311
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    Quote Originally Posted by SledgeHammer View Post
    The config is not suitable for PC. It's meant for a home theatre !
    Whats the difference ?

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by SledgeHammer View Post
    The config is not suitable for PC. It's meant for a home theatre !
    Quote Originally Posted by rajan1311 View Post
    Whats the difference ?
    There will be only a small difference. You will be sitting much closer to the monitor. Consequently, the rear surround speakers would be nearer. Otherwise there is no difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 18lama View Post
    can you post a pic of how you have plugged in the speakers into your PC?

    I am using a 5.1 system on PC...so I might be able to solve your problem, but I need to see how you have connected the speakers.
    sorry for the ignorance but i think you didn't understand wht i really meant .......

    I actually happen to have 2 sets of 2.1 speaker system ......... so wanted to use them both together .

    I have attached one set of the 2.1 speaker system to the front end and the other to the rear end .......... but couldn't get the sound out of both the speakers simultaneously ........ thats wht the problem is ....

    and if in case you really want the pics i would have them taken and post them up .

    thnxx in advance ....

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