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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2019 Crosstrek Limited with the Harman Kardon system. As far as sound systems go, I think it's fine, but I've experimented with equalizer settings on my laptop while plugged into the system and I've found an EQ curve that REALLY goes a long way in making this system sound better, at least to my taste. So I'm trying to add a DSP to the car that will allow me to apply that EQ to the system itself. Additionally, I am trying to add a subwoofer and I want to be able to control the subwoofer output level and crossover with the DSP.
(Just for the record, I am trying to tweak the existing sound of the HK system rather than completely start from scratch with designing a good sounding system. I will be keeping all parts of the HK system: head-unit, amp, and speakers. I am very sure of this.)

I thought I had a plan figured out. I made this plan under the assumption that the HK factory amp had 6 line-level inputs and 6 outputs with the factory amp powering every speaker in the car, but now after reading threads on this forum of people discussing the intricacies of the HK system, I'm not sure if that assumption is true. I was overwhelmed with the amount of technical information presented in these threads and I found trying to filter out the information directly relating to my specific questions to be a frustrating process. But the gist of what I got from these threads was that the HK system is probably more complex than I thought.

Well, here was my plan anyway:
Get a DSP (C-DSP 8x12), a sub amp, and a sub.
If the HU currently has 6 outputs, all plugged into the factory amp, then I was going to unplug those from the amp (and keep track of their order) and run them into the DSP instead. Then the DSP would output those same 6 channels (after being processed) to the 6 inputs of the factory amp. If I didn't make any adjustments to the DSP besides selecting the ins and outs, I would hope that the system sounds virtually the same at this point. Then, I would configure the DSP so that one of its three stereo-pair inputs is not only going to the factory amp, but also being sent out one of its remaining stereo-pair outputs which will be sent to the sub amp.

But it seems the HK system might be messier than I anticipated. If my understanding of the system is not correct, then what's actually happening? Thank you for your patience.
 

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Hello and welcome!

Try pinging @MiniSQ. While we differ on opinions about a DSP, he has one and I think he knows more about the upgraded HK system's wiring than anyone here.

However, I will note that the HK amp is actually double hatted as a DSP and an amp, and it was supposedly tuned for the car by HK.
If you change the signal going into the HK box, it'll muck it up on the way out.

Here's what I have on the HK pins; I don't know what "II" or "SLD" refer to but "TWL" and "TWR" are tweeter left and tweeter right :

299298



299299



299300



There was a rumour about the HK having a sub out but I don't know anything more about it.
To add a sub, you have a couple of options:

1. Speaker wire (high) amplifier inputs; or
2. RCA cable (low) amplifer inputs.

Option 1 is easy; split the rear or front channels and feed them to the amp.
Option 2 is easy; buy a Line Out Converter, split the rear or front channels, feed them to the converter's input and run RCA cables to the sub amp input.

Keep in mind that you'll have to install the amp in the cargo area because there are boxes under your front seats.

Good luck!

P.S. There are no tweeters, the dash speakers are mids.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Of course as soon as I post this, I find this helpful quote from here:

At this point it’s pretty clear that the HK amp under the passenger seat receives only a 2-channel pair (front L/R) from the HU and processes them into six output channels sent to the front and rear doors and to the dash speakers via the DCM (summed with the Telematic/NAV audio, and volume is controlled via canbus (pins 7-8 on HU C-connector to pins 8-7 on the amp B-connector)
Glad the question of how many inputs and outputs the factory amp has is cleared up. But what does this statement about the canbus-controlled volume imply?

Does this mean that the HU isn't actually increasing its output voltage when you turn up the volume? Is the HU volume merely telling the amplifier to adjust its own volume control? This matters a lot since if this is true and I stick to my plan (but revised for the number of amp inputs), then my subwoofer's sound output will remain unchanged as I change the HU volume, which I wouldn't want.

Thank you, @Doca.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just realized I didn't read your entire comment, @Doca.
1. Speaker wire (high) amplifier inputs; or
2. RCA cable (low) amplifer inputs.

Option 1 is easy; split the rear or front channels and feed them to the amp.
Option 2 is easy; buy a Line Out Converter, split the rear or front channels, feed them to the converter's input and run RCA cables to the sub amp input.
For both options are you saying split the channels post-factory amplifier? Is it possible to split an amplified signal? Sorry if that's a stupid question. Electricity is not my forte.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry for the triple post.

However, I will note that the HK amp is actually double hatted as a DSP and an amp and it was supposedly tuned for the car by HK.
If you put change the signal going into the HK box, it'll muck it up.
Someone on Reddit told me I should be concerned about this too. Logically, I don't see how this is a problem. I mean, messing with an EQ on my laptop while plugged into the system is technically changing the signal going into the amp/DSP, and I liked how that sounded despite the fact that the amp was doing its own processing anyways. Plus these are pretty subtle, broad changes I'm trying to do. Nothing radical.
EDIT: I should probably mention I've been mixing and mastering music on a computer for 10 years so I'm very good at EQ'ing and knowing what I like regarding frequency spectrum.
@Doca
 

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For both options are you saying split the channels post-factory amplifier? Is it possible to split an amplified signal?
Sorry if this post seems chunky.

I omitted a key element based on your plan, where to split the signal for the sub and CDSP. The short answer is...

... this won't work. You'll see why below.

You can split any signal you want, the question is if the DSP can handle an amplified signal as an in input.
Not my strong suit but I know DSPs are typically installed before the amplifier and there's a very good reason for it.
However, the CDSP can be installed after an amplifier. I can't for the life of me figure out why someone would, regardless, according to the manual:
"The 8 V high input setting corresponds to a maximum amplifier power of 16 Watts into 4 ohms."
"The 12 V high input setting corresponds to a maximum amplifier power of 36 Watts into 4 ohms."

The CDSP 8X12 inputs have a selector switch but the switch also designates the input impedance levels.
Full scale input voltage (RMS) and input impedance settings:
Low level inputs 4V @ 10 kΩ or 2V @ 5 kΩ
High level inputs 12V @ 68Ω or 8V @ 68Ω

The issue with putting it after is that you'll blow things up. To find out for sure, you'll need the CDSP input and HK output specs; I got the CDSP's but I don't think anyone has located all the HK's. In fact, I just discovered that the HK website now only lists the Forester and Outback as having a package and its rated for 12 speakers @ 576 watts. However, the XV's power is 432 "equivalent" watts according to Subaru of America.

Knowing that, you can't use the amplified signal as an input source.
Assuming an amplifier is rated for 50 watts and a normal expected speaker impedance of either 2Ω or 4Ω, here's a couple example equations for voltage:

Voltage = Sq root of [Power (50 watts) X resistance 4Ω (speaker)] = 14.14214 volts
Voltage = Sq root of [Power (50 watts) X resistance 2Ω (speaker)] = 10 volts

The HK probably expects more resistance than 2Ω or 4Ω but the more it expects, the worse this becomes for you.
Using the same equation with the 432 watts we get 41.56 volts @ 4Ω and 29.4 volts @ 2Ω.
Both figures equal a very unhappy meltdown.

Reverting back to the using HK's inputs for the CSDP inputs and the CDSP feeding the HK..

I can't find the HK's installation manual but I've seen the back of the 8" nav and non-nav units. They have the same connectors.
I'm fairly sure that the HK system connects to the standard radio/speaker connectors that we all have, just like the Rockford Fosgate accessory did.
I have seen the RK manual.

If that's correct, the HK has it's own harness that plugs into the back of the radio on one end and connects to the clips on the return line, that would otherwise be plugged into the radio.

Enjoy my at the office MS Paint.
299305



None of this really matters because no matter how you tune the CDSP, if it feeds the HK, the HK will put it right back where it wants to.


The only real solution I have it to pull or bypass the HK and either install the DSP with an aftermarket amp capable of either 6 channels + 1 sub or 6 channels and second, mono amp for the sub.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
First of all, thanks so much for helping me out and even bothering to draw me a diagram.
None of this really matters because no matter how you tune the CDSP, if it feeds the HK, the HK will put it right back where it wants to.
I feel the need to address this right off the bat. I really, really don't think you're right about this. Because I've mixed music for almost half my life and this isn't how serial audio processing works. If you put an EQ after another EQ, the second EQ doesn't negate the effects of the first; the effect is cumulative. Even if the second unit is adding dynamic compression, multi-band compression, or some other dynamic effect, you should still expect what goes in to be proportional to what goes out, even if the relation isn't completely linear. The only way the HK amp would be able to negate ALL processing before it is if it had some kind of smart, dynamic EQ that constantly listened to the signal and adjusted itself accordingly so that it could make every single moment of every song match one single frequency spectrum. I know for a fact that it does not do this because this would sound horribly unnatural and also because that would imply that every song going through it would sound exactly the same. This isn't true. When I listen to this system, songs with more bass have more bass, songs with less midrange have less midrange, etc. Another reason I know the amp doesn't do this is because I plugged my car (EDIT: meant laptop) into the system and dialed up an EQ and it made a noticeable difference in sound. Both these counterexamples are things happening pre-amplifier.

So that being said, I think it would totally be worthwhile to put a DSP before the factory amp. And you're saying I could plug the 2 HU outputs into the DSP, have the DSP output to the factory amp, and then have the factory amp output to all speakers (as usual), but also split two of these signals post-factory amp to go to the sub amp? Unfortunately this doesn't let me control the sub via DSP, but worst comes to worst maaaaaybe I'd settle for this.

I would like some clarification on the canbus volume thingy. Does this really mean that the HU volume is just telling the amp where to set its own volume? Because if this wasn't the case: if the HU volume was an actual HU output level, I could have an extra 2 channels coming out of the DSP that bypasses the factory amp entirely and goes straight to the sub amp. This plan wouldn't work if the HU volume is only controlling the amp's volume because then adjusting the HU volume wouldn't adjust the sub volume.

EDIT: Just realized I should probably tag @vulcan_classic in this since they brought the "can-bus controlled volume" to my attention in the thread I mentioned earlier.
 

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I see no reason why you can't feed the DSP from the HU and feed the HK from the DSP. I'm not a DSP expert, I don't even like them in everyday driving vehicles with one exception, one that's been fully and properly insulated; Crosstreks aren't really known for their superior road noise and rattling sound proofing attributes.

Thanks for sharing some EQ knowledge. I always enjoy learning new things. Out of curiosity, you said you plugged your car into the system and dialed up an EQ; what system?
I've decided to start learning more about it. Do you mind if I ping you sometime to maybe try and dumb something down or clear something up if I get stuck?

Tuning one device to feed another that also tunes sounds plausible but unnecessary to me. The exception being a remote feed to a different location and adjusting for its acoustics. So, sure; go for it. However, you'll want to split the sub signal somewhere before the HK; this is for the same reason as that long story about input voltage. Bonus that you can still use the DSP sub controller and bring the processed signals directly to the sub amp. Tune those frequencies well and you'll have an nice clear bass.

I have no idea if the HK controls the volume or the HU does but because its the exact same head unit as the non-HK Limited package, I don't believe that claim is accurate. I find it easier to believe that the HK manipulates the volume of channels based on its settings but volume is dictated at the HU.
 

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I'm a novice when it comes to all this stuff but check out this thread: Model Year 2018 and Newer - TSB for HK amp replacement

I've asked twice now to get our amp replaced due to weird stuff like the radio coming on, blaring, when a call ends. Last time they said they would order one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thank you for your response.
Out of curiosity, you said you plugged your car into the system and dialed up an EQ; what system?
Whoops. I meant I plugged my LAPTOP into the system. So I just plugged my laptop into the aux and played music from my computer. I had Logic Pro whipped up so I could throw on an EQ.
I've decided to start learning more about it. Do you mind if I ping you sometime to maybe try and dumb something down or clear something up if I get stuck?
Yeah go ahead, it's the least I can do.
Tuning one device to feed another that also tunes sounds plausible but unnecessary to me.
The reason I'm trying to do this is because I'm already like 80% satisfied with the sound in this car. I've also just been listening to it for as long as I've had the car and that listening time has helped me cement my idea of what I'd actually change about it. In my experience, having a DSP removed from a factory car (as well as adding aftermarket speakers to a car with factory DSP) immediately makes everything sound completely wacky, in a way that you can't really predict before you've already removed it and it's too late. The people who designed the system didn't design it with aftermarket gear in mind so there's really no telling what you're going to get when you do this. So, if I were to remove the factory amp, yes, I could theoretically fix things up using the DSP, but I'd be starting completely from scratch and it would be a long, laborious process. I guess part of it is I'm just lazy. I suppose I can always consider it later.
However, you'll want to split the sub signal somewhere before the HK; this is for the same reason as that long story about input voltage. Bonus that you can still use the DSP sub controller and bring the processed signals directly to the sub amp.
Got it. Thanks, you've clarified a lot for me.
have no idea if the HK controls the volume or the HU does but because its the exact same head unit as the non-HK Limited package, I don't believe that claim is accurate. I find it easier to believe that the HK manipulates the volume of channels based on its settings but volume is dictated at the HU.
This makes sense and I hope you're right about this.
 

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Right on. I think you're off to a great start and I hope some of what I wrote helps out.

I'm very certain about the head unit volume question. The 8" Nav radio is called the Harman G3.1 (High), the 8" non-nav radio is called the Harman G3.1 (Mid). I've been all over them when researching the FCC testing data for the G3 (2017-2018) and G3.1 (2019-?) models They're exactly the same inside and out except for the map component. I can't imagine why the radio would behave differently just because there's a different device sitting on its outbound only lines.

For the sake of completeness; below High and Mid, we have the G3.1 6.5" Base and Base+ models. Fundamentally the same as the 8" units and with all the same connectors, except for maps. The Base model also lacks the CD player and modules for wi-fi and XM.

I can say for certain that the FCC testing photos and notes did not indicate the HK DSP/amp was required to test the G3 or G3.1 High models. Here's the FCC's G3.1 High test setup pics. I don't see any equipment other than the radio that isn't test equipment but I also don't think they care if the audio signal works or not. They test for EMI, RF, WiFi and Bluetooth data.

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299312

(Basically i want to pull my G3 Non-Nav 8" radio to find out if it spits a signal on any of the unused pins in those clips. Good thing I feel the need to monkey with my LC7i settings for the summer)

I wish I could think of a quick way to physically verify the volume question but all I have is to pop the radio and do a physical test.

If for some weird reason I'm wrong, that will cause you some trouble and I'll revert back to you can't drop in the CDSP; not because its unfeasible but because of some restrictive design.

Just FYSA: The telemetrics unit does interrupt the front speaker connections on the return feed. This is so the car can override the radio/playback with Bluetooth, Voice controls and StarLink.
I changed my MS Paint drawing in post #6 to better reflect this.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You've helped a lot, man. I owe you one.

Also, just for the record I won't need the 8x12 version of the C-DSP anymore. Since the HU only has 2 outputs, I can opt for the 6x8 version which has 4 line inputs (still 2 more than I need) and this saves me a couple hundred dollars. Hooray!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Crosstreks aren't really known for their superior road noise and rattling sound proofing attributes.
I'm getting a little off-topic but I thought I might as well broach this subject while I'm here.
I was thinking of doing a thing or two to make the ride quieter. I've never had a car sound-proofed before. I've heard changing the tires can make a big difference. I know nothing about tires but I've heard Michelin Primacy Tour A/S tires are very quiet. Probably cheaper than getting the car soundproofed. Also safer since no one has to take my car apart. Thoughts?
 

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You've helped a lot, man. I owe you one.

Also, just for the record I won't need the 8x12 version of the C-DSP anymore. Since the HU only has 2 outputs, I can opt for the 6x8 version which has 4 line inputs (still 2 more than I need) and this saves me a couple hundred dollars. Hooray!
The HU has at least 4 outputs FR, FL, RR, RL. It’s possible that the harness connector for the Limited HK used pins otherwise unused to separately power the dash L and R. So, there’s definitely 4, possibly 6. Someone needs to pull a HK package radio to test the pins. I plan on doing it to my non-HK 8”, non-nav G3 HU just because I can but the soonest that may be is at least a week away.

Tyres can make a lot of road noise but new shoes must be a lot more expensive than soundproofing material. I haven’t soundproofed my car but it’s not that hard to do the main culprits; door panels and cargo floor area.
 

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Uh oh. I already ordered the DSP. I hope the HU doesn't have 6 outputs. I was getting the info that it had 2 outputs from this quote:
At this point it’s pretty clear that the HK amp under the passenger seat receives only a 2-channel pair (front L/R) from the HU and processes them into six output channels sent to the front and rear doors and to the dash speakers via the DCM (summed with the Telematic/NAV audio, and volume is controlled via canbus (pins 7-8 on HU C-connector to pins 8-7 on the amp B-connector)
(Original Thread)
Is @vulcan_classic mistaken?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wait a minute. Is it possibly the case that the HU has many outputs so that when it's used with the base model, it can send signal to all the speakers, but if it's used in an HK system, it only sends out two channels because the HK amp has all the necessary splitting capabilities?

Is that why I'm getting confused, thinking your info contradicts @vulcan_classic 's?

Tyres can make a lot of road noise but new shoes must be a lot more expensive than soundproofing material. I haven’t soundproofed my car but it’s not that hard to do the main culprits; door panels and cargo floor area.
Hmm. I was never planning on doing the soundproofing myself cause I'm an awful mechanic. Someone offered to charge $1500 just to do the 4 doors. Yeeesh. Set of those tires is about half that price. How easy is soundproofing really? I've seen highly conflicting opinions on this, with some saying it's an extremely difficult, long, laborious task that takes several days and others saying it's really easy.

I'm a novice when it comes to all this stuff but check out this thread: Model Year 2018 and Newer - TSB for HK amp replacement

I've asked twice now to get our amp replaced due to weird stuff like the radio coming on, blaring, when a call ends. Last time they said they would order one.
I actually will check that out. My system has done funky stuff on two different accounts and it never repeated these failures the rest of the time I've had the car, but it got me a little concerned. If I end up getting a replacement, I should probably try do it before I start adding a bunch of stuff to the system, possibly voiding my warranty?
 

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I actually will check that out. My system has done funky stuff on two different accounts and it never repeated these failures the rest of the time I've had the car, but it got me a little concerned. If I end up getting a replacement, I should probably try do it before I start adding a bunch of stuff to the system, possibly voiding my warranty?
If you're still under warranty (you should be, unless you've put on a lot of miles) and you have a chance of getting the updated HK amp, then I would do that first. It may be that you already have the latest HK amp. If not, the dealer can't claim you messed it up...
 

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Wait a minute. Is it possibly the case that the HU has many outputs so that when it's used with the base model, it can send signal to all the speakers, but if it's used in an HK system, it only sends out two channels because the HK amp has all the necessary splitting capabilities?

Is that why I'm getting confused, thinking your info contradicts @vulcan_classic 's?
Hmmm... For the last 3.5 hours I've been tracking down leads about the HK and G3.1 High, tech diagrams and, how the Harman talks to it.

I think vulcan is correct but I can't explain is how the fader works using only 2 HU channels (apparently a single R and L) when he HU controls balance and fade. Nor can I figure out what happens to the other two channels.

Something I discovered regarding the 17-18 WRX/STI is that the Rear Left channel doubles as an Interrupt when connected to an OEM amp. Having discovered that, I think now's a good time for me to stop talking about those things until I can confirm some burning questions.

The only quick and dirty test I can can think of is to pop the HK clips, crank up the volume and test the pins for an AC signal as you play with the balance and fade settings to identify where the signal goes. I suppose you could use a multimeter or rig a speaker with some wire and a couple of needles/pins/nails small enough to touch the clip's connectors.

$1500 for 4 doors!!!!!???? What were they going to line them with, crown sable fur?
I can do the worst areas of my car for $500-600 Canadian. that's like what, $40 US dollars, lol?

How difficult depends on how thorough you want to be and the car your doing it in. It's very easy to expose mounting surfaces in the XV; a C Class Benz isn't so easy. The main targets should be the cavernous door cavities and the cargo floor area. It's easy to remove the door cards and expose the cargo floor. I could probably bare them all in about 20 minutes and wrap up the job within a couple hours.

Removing the carpet is damn difficult because everything on it has to be removed. I don't suggest going under the carpet. It gets some deadening because of the carpet but I'd be paranoid about trapping moisture under it. Removing the headliner isn't bad but it is a pain in the butt. You could also do the A, B and C pillars but while easy to expose, A and B are full of things to get in your way.

Here's my door panel removal/speaker install DIY to show you how easy it is to get at the worst offender.


I haven't been following the HK amp replacement issue but to deny you warranty, they'd have to prove your modifications did the damage.

Crown sable fur is expensive sound deadening material but awesome seat cover material.
 

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Hmmm... For the last 3.5 hours I've been tracking down leads about the HK and G3.1 High, tech diagrams and, how the Harman talks to it.

I think vulcan is correct but I can't explain is how the fader works using only 2 HU channels (apparently a single R and L) when he HU controls balance and fade. Nor can I figure out what happens to the other two channels.

Something I discovered regarding the 17-18 WRX/STI is that the Rear Left channel doubles as an Interrupt when connected to an OEM amp. Having discovered that, I think now's a good time for me to stop talking about those things until I can confirm some burning questions.

The only quick and dirty test I can can think of is to pop the HK clips, crank up the volume and test the pins for an AC signal as you play with the balance and fade settings to identify where the signal goes. I suppose you could use a multimeter or rig a speaker with some wire and a couple of needles/pins/nails small enough to touch the clip's connectors.

$1500 for 4 doors!!!!!???? What were they going to line them with, crown sable fur?
I can do the worst areas of my car for $500-600 Canadian. that's like what, $40 US dollars, lol?

How difficult depends on how thorough you want to be and the car your doing it in. It's very easy to expose mounting surfaces in the XV; a C Class Benz isn't so easy. The main targets should be the cavernous door cavities and the cargo floor area. It's easy to remove the door cards and expose the cargo floor. I could probably bare them all in about 20 minutes and wrap up the job within a couple hours.

Removing the carpet is damn difficult because everything on it has to be removed. I don't suggest going under the carpet. It gets some deadening because of the carpet but I'd be paranoid about trapping moisture under it. Removing the headliner isn't bad but it is a pain in the butt. You could also do the A, B and C pillars but while easy to expose, A and B are full of things to get in your way.

Here's my door panel removal/speaker install DIY to show you how easy it is to get at the worst offender.


I haven't been following the HK amp replacement issue but to deny you warranty, they'd have to prove your modifications did the damage.

Crown sable fur is expensive sound deadening material but awesome seat cover material.
HU sends balance and fade controls to the amp via canbus and the amp does the rest!

Again , two inputs from HU to amp and 6 outputs from amp to speakers, It’s the telematics that makes it so complicated, since the dash speaker outputs from amp get summed with phone/telematics module before reach the dash tweeters.


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