RP500 Review

manufacturer: DigiTech date: 09/20/2012 category: Guitar Effects
DigiTech: RP500
It is pretty simple to use. Basically plug in your guitar and the power supply and that's all you need. There are 100 presets built in that have great sounds and thousands more that you can create through different combinations of gear.
 Sound: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 9.2
 Reliability & Durability: 9.2
 Ease of Use: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9 
 Users rating:
 9 
 Votes:
 49 
reviews (10) pictures (3) 40 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
RP500 Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 17, 2008
8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 299.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: The RP500 is pretty simple to use. Basically plug in your guitar and the power supply and that's all you need. There are 100 presets built in that have great sounds and thousands more that you can create through different combinations of gear. Reading the book is necessary if you are new to effect processors to learn about how to operate it completely and effectively. // 9

Sound: The sound is amazing. I use a Fender Mex Stat and my Tradition electric with it. Both guitars allowed for a great tone. I also run the RP500 through my Marshall amp, which makes a great tone. I can either used the amp models and cab models that are built in or I can bypass them and use the pure tone of my amp. There is not very much buzz or hum with the pedal. All of the effect are right on with their tone and are easy to control. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Like any other DigiTech pedal the reliability and durability is very good. DigiTech is the pedal of choice for me and I have never had one let me down. I bought the RP500 to cut back on buying so many different pedals. With customizable settings it is a very good product for anything from studio use or on stage performances. // 10

Overall Impression: I play anything from Blues to Rock to Metal and the pedal allows for me to switch styles with ease. I don't have to hook up and unhook gear at all. All you need is your guitar, the RP500, and a good amp. I would recommend this product to anyone Who is serious about music. The amount of inspiration is amazing. // 10

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overall: 9.8
RP500 Reviewed by: FenderPhone, on january 15, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 299

Purchased from: Hames Music (Local Shop)

Ease of Use: Unlike previous RP Models, the RP500 has 5 stomboxes on the pedalboard that let you Switch different presets a lot easier. The Amp/Cabinet Bypass button turns off the internal amplifiers and cabinets so you only have stompboxes and effects. I find it very easy to use and it's a lot more versatile than other RP models. // 10

Sound: I use my RP500 with a 2003 Fender Strat and Fender 212 amp. Sometimes it can tend to be noisy on certain distortion settings, but that can be rectified by the noise gate and compression settings. The effects are awesome. The echo can be set to different speeds from almost immediate to never-ending feedback, the didstortion settings are powerful, and my favorite, the Whammy can be set to drop 2 octaves down or up so many octaves it's just a high-pitch whistle. It also has a lot of other effects like chorus, flanger, panner, reverb, wah-wah, amp effects such as Vox, Fender, Hiwatt, Mesa Boogie, Orange, as well as the cabinets. Overall everything is very impressive about the pedal. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I use my RP500 everytime I'm on stage. Infact, the stompboxes were added to the pedal just for that purpose. And it's really durable because it has 9 vacuum style switches and a cast metal chassis, although it's a bit heavier than other RP models. A large 10 character LED display makes for easy stage use topped by an built-in expression pedal to control wahs, volume, Whammy and other parameters. // 9

Overall Impression: I play a lot of blues and classic rock. But over the past couple years, I've started getting into heavier but rythmic bands like As I Lay Dying and Chevelle. No matter what style I choose to play, this pedal is perfect. It has so many different presets that you can not only use, but edit and change with so many different options that it's almost inevitable to not get the sound you want. I've been playing for over 6 years. I've owned an Epiphone Les Paul Studio, an Epiphone Les Paul Double Cutaway, a Fender Strat, Fender 212 amp, Morley Bad Horsie 2 Wah, DigiTech RP80, DigiTech RP250, DigiTech Jimi Hendrix Expression, and now a DigiTech RP500. So far, comparing it to the other two RP models that I own, this is by far the best one yet. I chose it because after playing on the RP250 I fell in love with it. Then, the RP500 came out and I knew I had to get it. Sure enough, I was not dissapointed. It's a must-own far any style of playing! // 10

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overall: 7.8
RP500 Reviewed by: GS LEAD 5, on november 23, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 380

Purchased from: Braganza & Co

Ease of Use: Seems intimidating at first, but very easy to get used to. Seems DigiTech took a leaf out of Zoom's book and gave it a scroll-turn system. Use an arrow key to Switch the effect module being edited, use the knobs to turn it on/off, change parameters, etc. 7 knobs, one to change pedal/amp model, and the others for the various parameters of the effect ie gain, mids, high, level, depth, regen etc. Patches are easy to edit. Select any random pre set, mod it, hit a "store" button, use knobs to change the patch name and bank, hit "store" again, and you're done. Alternatively, you could hook it upto your PC and use the X Edit 2 to change patches. IMO this is easier, since bending down to tweak knobs gets annoying after a while. Plus, some things can only be changed via PC, such as the bandwidth of the Parametric EQ. Mine came with Firmware 1.2. I upgraded to to 2.0 via USB. It took 5 minutes, very simple to do. Added a 20 second looper. Manual is precise, gives a description of the knobs and switches, and what each knob does for each different effect. However, there is no description of each param for the effect itself. I doubt a newbie knows what a Ducker Threshold is for instance. // 7

Sound: I'm using a stock ESP/LTD MH-100 QM through a Marshall MG15CD(shut up). The Marshall was......a regrettable purchase, to say the least. The first thing that hit me about this pedal is the fact that the amp models sound very very VERY good. No, the Triple Recto model wont turn your AC4TV into a 4W Triple Recto. But it comes close. And it sounds br00t4l. The number of amp models are bewildering at first glance- theres something for everyone, whether you play pop-punk or the most extreme black metal. The stomp box models are generally good. The delays, though nice, don't quite sound as lush as the Boss GT-10. Otherwise, I daresay this pedal sounds far better. The noise gate is pretty good, though it DOES suck your sustain a bit at times. But anyway, if that happens, its because you are using more gain than any sane person would use. It can get quite heavy, espc when you try to boost one of the high gain amp models with an OD model. The choruses sound lovely, nice flange effects if slightly too aggressive. Lush, smooth phasing. The Pitch Shifter is plain awesome, the Detune feature makes it sound like two guitars are playing- it's the sex. The Ya Ya is honestly speaking useless. THe Harmonizer is great, so are the LFO's. The Wah's are particularly sweet-far superior to the GT-10's slightly weeedy wah. The Lexicon licensed reverbs are particularly good. My main criticisms are leveled at a lack of flexibility. You can keep an effect before or after the amp model. No other choices. You can't through them here and there, you have no effects loop, you can't use two different effects chains, you can't run more than one modulation effect at a time. This isnt too much of a problem for me, but it might be a deal breaker for others. In this respect the RP1000 is a far more complete package. These niggling flaws keep me from giving it more than a 7.5, 7 since 7.5 isnt an option :P // 7

Reliability & Durability: Very dependable. The all metal casing is plain awesome. Sadly, it runs on AC power for some reason. So no batteries. Only usable with a power brick. Very reliable, has never frozen up on me. // 9

Overall Impression: I play mostly metal with a smattering of classic rock. It does everything I play well. I intend to get a Bugera soon, and use the RP only for effects and for low gain amp models. But it will do till then. If it were lost, I would either get the 1000 or a GSP1101 with the footswitch. Its great, especially for the price. I love almost everything about it- except the small niggling flaws. I compared this to a GT-10, a PODXT and an ME-70. I liked this the best- fewer features, but easily the best overall tone. // 8

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overall: 8
RP500 Reviewed by: demonhellcat, on september 20, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Used - Craigslist

Ease of Use: First a little background, I recently joined my church's worship band and there sound set up doesn't really allow for a traditional amplifier as everything is ran directly to the mixer so in order to have more than just a plain clean tone I needed some sort of digital processor. After some online research and craigslist searching I went with a used DigiTech RP500 I found for $150. It's loaded with 53 amps, 22 cabs, and 72 effects which by default are utilized in 100 factory presets. There are also 100 available user preset locations to save your patches. Altering the factory presets or creating your own from scratch is fairly easy. Reading the manual is helpful but really not necessary other than determining what each amp/cab/effect name is attempting to emulate. The previous owner never utilized the USB port so when I got it home I immediately upgraded to firmware 2.0 which most notably adds a 20 second looper. I also should mention the X-edit software provided which makes editing patches even easier and it allows you to back up your settings to your computer in case something goes wrong requiring a factory reset. The back panel contains multiple output options including 1/4" stereo or mono, XLR stereo or mono, and an 1/8 headphone jack. It also has an 1/8 input to jam along with your iPod or computer which is fantastic for "silent" practice at home. // 8

Sound: To an extent sound, like beauty, is in the ear (or eye) of the beholder. Let's start out with a realistic expectation. This will not replace the beautiful noise of an overdriven tube amp but it does fair job of getting the tone you want without the digital thinness' most complain about when talking about modelers. I play mostly worship music (pop rock), rock, punk rock, and maybe a little blues using a Gibson Les Paul Studio. I have been able to get solid usable tones for what I play. The clean tones are the best especially from the modeled Fender 65 Twin. Getting a nice fat, crunchy distortion has been a challenge but with some substantial and continued tweaking I'm getting close. Trying to get the right combination of amp model, amp gain paired with the right distortion effect takes some time but a good tone is possible. The 90's and 2000's Marshall JCM modelers have been my favorite for distortion. My biggest complaint concerning the amp modeling is the sustain. Even with high gain and the noise gate off single note sustains while playing lead are lacking and if your using crazy amounts of gain you'll need that noise gate. It should also be noted there is a fairly large difference in sound based on the output device. It sounds okay running into my Peavey XXL 212 but not as good as plugging directly into a PA. Using high quality headphones is essential too; you'll be disappointed if you use the ipod ear buds you have lying around. I'll admit I'm a novice when it comes to effects but from my experimentation with the RP500 it does a good job with chorus, compressor, delay, and reverb. I'm fairly certain the Whammy effect is based directly on DigiTech's own Whammy pedal so it is quite good. I use and enjoy the light' distortion effects but can't really comment on the metal and fuzz variants as they all sound bad to me but that's probably a matter of taste. The reverb deserves special mention as it is wonderful as it can give a relatively bland tone a nice thick quality. It has three different Lexicon models and a Fender Twin Reverb all of which sound great. The Compressor does a decent job of fixing the sustain issues without changing the tone too much but I wish it wasn't necessary for lead work. If you do have that sweet tube amp I mentioned the amp/cab modeling can be turned off completely with one button press to turn the RP500 into an effects board, plus there is a true bypass footswitch. // 7

Reliability & Durability: The RP500 is truly fully metal construction. The footswitches are all sturdy metal similar to what would be found on an amp footswitch or stomp box. The only plastic controls are the knobs used to edit patches but they are high quality and have a nice sturdy feel when using them. On the rear panel only the 1/8" headphone and line in jacks are plastic but have no give. My only concern is the provided power adapter as the electrical cord connections at each end seem fragile although a new adapter is less than $15 so a back-up is a good idea. Also, the lack of an on/off switch means unplugging the power every time you want to turn it off which could cause excess wear and tear. Although the RP500 appears to be built to handle a fall or two I'm sure liquid is it's kryptonite; try to keep it away from the drunks with beverages when playing the bar gigs. // 9

Overall Impression: The RP500 does everything I need it to do fairly well. I can't say it blew me away but it definitely met my expectations. If you're a metal head you should probably ignore this review as that's not my cup of tea (read can't play fast enough to play metal). If you are someone with a sensitive ear and frown on digital modelers I doubt this will convert you but it serves my purposes very well. With its many footswitches and features it's a dream to use live, even switching things up mid song. It also doubles as an amazing practice tool and if you invest in descent headphones it will provide hours and hours of fun without bothering the wife and sleeping kids. If it was stolen or lost I wouldn't definitely replace it. I've barely used my Peavey amp since getting it. Honestly the only thing I think it's missing is an on/off switch. // 8

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overall: 10
RP500 Reviewed by: Angus_Junior35, on december 23, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: I love this pedal. It is easy to use, sounds amazing, when bypassed it doesn't suck your tone. It offers a wide variety of sounds, perfect for any style of music. If there happens to be a song that you just can't find the right tone for, don't fret. You can find the closest setting, then modify it from there. It comes with Cubase recording software, which sounds great. // 10

Sound: I play this with a Roland MicroCube, Ibanez JS100 or Jay Turser JT50. It sounds great with both, with very little noise. The effects are adjustable, so you can change the intensity of it, which is awesome. This pedal does an awesome job of modeling Boss, Ibanez, and many more pedals. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This is made of steel all over, and is very durable. I think that I would definitely gig without a backup. The LED lights are very bright, so you always know what setting it is. I know it can stand up to quite a bit, as my sister jumps up and down on it. Since it came out, I haven't heard of one breaking or malfunctioning. Kudos to DigiTech. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mainly Rock n' Roll for about 1 1/2 years now. I am extremely happy with this pedal, as it can do anything and then some. I would be heartbroken if it was broken. I think this is one of the best multi-effects pedals on the market. I would reccomend this to anyone Who was looking for a multi-effects pedal. // 10

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overall: 9.5
RP500 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 05, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 319

Purchased from: Audiophile Components

Ease of Use: I was a complete beginner when it comes to programming presets using effects processors as complex as the RP500, but it was fairly easy to make my first patches when I finally figured how to make the distortions sound heavy enough (distorted amp + distortion stompbox), and I was able to nail Malmsteen's tone using a JCM800 amp model and a DOD250 distortion stompbox, and added a bit of reverb for that "Far Beyond the Sun" ambience. It was a fun learning experience, and I am glad I learned using the RP500. // 9

Sound: I use an Ibanez RG350EX loaded with Evolutions and a crappy 15w amp with EQs set to neutral. Even with the lousy amp, I could still hear the detail on the clean settings, and the distortion settings provided a reasonable amount of chunk for muting and power chords. With the noise gate, the RP500 is dead silent. But even without the noise gate, the unit produces very little hisses, and I bet that if I play someplace where there aren't many electrical devices nearby, it would be fairly quiet (I'm used to buzzes on my bigger amp anyway). The effects are great, and I bet some tweaking would produce excellent results. I was especially thrilled with the amp models because there are so many of them! Yes, they don't sound exactly like the originals, but they are so close that I don't care too much anymore. After all, I am after my OWN sound. However, some models are very useable (particularly the JCM800 emulation, I really got so close to Yngwie's sound). Overall, very interesting. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Two days ago, I dropped a fairly heavy padlock from a 3 foot height which left an 8mm scratch near the "down" Switch. If it weren't for the metal chassis, it would have sent the RP500 to the trash bin. It is so f"ing tough, I am confident that this thing would still work even after being run over by a medium-sized car. // 10

Overall Impression: With the metal construction and heavy-duty switches, excellent sound, and reasonable price, this just may be the effects processor that you've been looking for. I have been playing for four years now, mostly instrumental, rock and shred. This is the missing piece of my tone puzzle. The flexibility and versatility of this unit is definitely going to appeal to a lot of guitar players Who still don't have enough dough to buy tube amps and/or analog effects. I might look for other types of effects processors if ever this gets stolen or something. But for now, this is exactly what I need. // 10

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overall: 9.8
RP500 Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 10, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 270

Purchased from: Thomann

Ease of Use: This thing is simple to use, and I love simplicity. I have been playing guitar for only two years and know little about effects but I can get a nice sound just by turning a few knobs. It gets even easier with X-edit. You can even name your patches and they will show on the display. Firmware updated to 2.0 which adds a 20 second looper - not that I use it that often. // 10

Sound: I use it with my only guitar, an Ibanez RG7321 with DiMarzio Blaze II neck on bridge, connected to a little Spider III 15 on clean. I play Korn all the time using the Dual/Triple Rectifier model, with the Big Pi distortion, EH Flanger, EH Phaser, Univibe, DigiTech Whammy... You name it. I don't care much if the effects sound a little off but this gear is fun to play with. I also tried the Zone distortion and it's cool. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's made of metal. Feels like I could jump on it. // 10

Overall Impression: I mainly play Korn and mess around (still learning) and I love all the options under my feet. But it does take some time from playing just to decide what to use. I just wish there was a way to go from clean to Drive channel within the amp model or maybe the Amp/Cab bypass little button as a full switch. Having 2 effects at the same time instead of one Chorus/FX would be great and you wouldn't need to Switch presets so many times. But hey, for 270 I got pretty much everything I need for playing Korn - that's the main reason for choosing the RP500. I would buy it again. // 9

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overall: 8.3
RP500 Reviewed by: seemeel, on april 05, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 400

Ease of Use: This pedal does take a bit of learning to get it to sound great. The software is pretty intuitive and the interface is pretty good, and that makes creating your own patches pretty simple. I have tried to do it using the dials on the pedal, and that wasn't fun. This pedal can either be used as a multi FX or a stompbox. It's very versatile and has a huge range of amps, cabs and effects to model. You can plug this thing into your amp or a mixing board, or even straight into active speakers. It does stereo out and has headphone out and axillary in. It can fit into just about any situation in rehearsal or on stage. To use on stage, it's so easy. You just stomp away. To program your own patches can be a bit more difficult when you're learning. Overall, it is a simple, powerful unit. // 8

Sound: There are 100 pre-programmed effect patches on board. Some are really nice (#3 SOLO_DLY) though many are rubbish. The on board effects are very high quality, but the patches that DigiTech have programmed aren't so much. That's not the point though - the idea is for you to make your own. The first patches I made were pretty terrible, but as I got to know the quirks of the unit the patches started getting better and better, and now I can model a M/B Solo Head and have it sound just like the real Solo 50, expect it's coming out of my Marshall TSL100 (which is sitting next to my mate's Solo 50). Neither me and my mate could tell which amp was which. The sound is great, if you have the patience/skill to learn how to use it properly. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Built like a tank. It's really heavy and solid, and the pedal is very solid. I don't think this would ever break even if you threw it at a wall. The dials on the face of it are a little flimsy, and I could see them breaking in time, if you were rough with them. It is very strong and reliable. I did have some issues where it didn't turn on. I plugged and unplugged it a few times (there's no on/off switch! That would be really good feature) and it turns on in the end. Once it's on, it stays on. // 8

Overall Impression: This is a great unit. I love it. I can get my Comfortably Numb solo sound, the fuzzy Hendrix tone, the early Beatles tweed sound and a snarling rectifier metal wall of sound out of this thing. It's so versatile and once you take the time to learn how to program it, it's pretty easy to get a very, very nice sound. I would love it if the unit had an on/off switch, and a loop capability. Those are the only things I would add. If I had to, I would probably replace this with the model up, the RP1000, as it has both of these features. I love this unit. It really is that good. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be able to use a wide variety of tones without having to buy all the amps and effects you would need to do it the old-fashioned way. I thank myself every time I use it for buying it. I give this a 9 overall. // 9

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overall: 8.8
RP500 Reviewed by: thetobarmethod, on october 13, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Amazon-Independent Seller

Ease of Use: My RP500 was bought new and is so simple. SO DAMN SIMPLE. Everything is laid out for you(the manual isnt much help though)and straightforward. All the effects are easy to find, so are patches( theyre easy to use and edit also)but they are in a little need for tweakage. As far as I know it hasn't been upgraded. // 8

Sound: I use my processor w/ Ibanez six and seven strings(RG3exfm1, RGD7321, RG350, RG470) also use a Fender Mustang on occasion. ANd all through what usually is a Randall RX120DHS with settings on clean. No hum unless running the compressor, with high gain AND high distortion. But what really pisses me off, is that sometimes, you HAVE to turn the noisegate WAY up and kills your sustain, harmonics, and dynamics. By the way, the gate itself, isnt all that great. But damnit the effects are! Every effect is very sweet and rich with unparalleled amounts of tweakability. Reverbs, Pitch shifters, Phase and Flange, vibrato, and Delay effects are the best on the machine. Mid-range effects aren't as good as what I just listed, but are still pretty decent; distortions(not so varying) chorus, "ya ya"(whammy type thing), octave, detune, compressor, and any variation of an effect, supposed to mimick another brands. As before, every effect is very rich, full, powerfull and most are pretty realistic to whatever they are supposed to be mimicking.Distortions are awesome though, they stand out, I personally recomend the Redline, Big Muff, DS distortion, tube screamer, and DOD 250 models. On the downside, the Metal zone, death metal, and Grunge models, are frankly... fuking terrible. You can get fairly close to thrash/death metal tones, nu metal and industrial sounds are very easy to get, alternative like smashing pumpkins and Nirvana are a little work. But you still can't beat (completely) the awesome tone you get from an overdrive, highly distorted stack. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The RP is pretty darn stable, it can, I feel, take quite a beating, but don't go stomping and shit all over the pedal things or ex. pedal. they are made of very hard plastic. check yourself. Gigwise, I would configure it and do a sound check at least twice before going onstage with it. Still can't beat a pedalboard. // 8

Overall Impression: The RP500 is a very very nice piece of musical equipment, and can do anything even the most demanding player wants. Plug it into a nice stack, through a PRS or prestige ibanez, and you have, not only a workhorse but a reliable, well equipped processor. Its affordable, well worth the money I might add, and kill, mame, rape, and piss on whoever steals it. However, if you care to spend more money, gor for the GNX3000, its even better. Don't get the RP1000 though, it's basically the exact same thing. // 10

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overall: 8.3
RP500 Reviewed by: grimey93, on may 17, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: Getting a good sound out of this pedal can be easy and complicated at the same time. Some small adjustments could ruin your entire sound. The settings that come with it are amazing. Editing patches is a whole lot easier than my RP90 because of the knobs and the fact that each setting of the pedal can be controlled. The manual is really good it lists all the pedals, settings you can use and tells you everything you need to know. // 9

Sound: I am generally using this with my ESP EC50 and either just a plain stage monitor and house speakers or my Line 6 Spider IV amp. It does not sound so well with the Line 6 amp because I fell the amp was not meant to have effects ran through it. The distortion can get really noisy if you choose a highly distorted amp and pedal but the noise gate helps with cleaning the signal up. The effects are real strong. I do feel the distortion is kind of weak when using other effects such as a chorus. I really don't use the sound of my favorite artists much. I combine different sounds and try to get my own but the website has a ton of good artist sounds you can download. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This is probably one of the most realiable pedal you could ever have. I am really hard on pedals when I am travelling and playing and it refuses to budge or buckle which is a good thing. The Whammy is very reliable to get working as are the vacuum switches. // 9

Overall Impression: I play a lot of metal and this is perfect for it. It gives me all my cool little effects without having to spend $1000 on pedals and a board. I love the multiple effects you can get along with the wide variety of a certain effects. The only part I really don't like is it is kind of hard to get the sound you are looking for. I did compare this to several other pedals including Boss, Line 6 and a Vox multi-FX pedal. I say if I had to get another Multi-FX pedal I would most likey get this. // 8

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