LTD V-500 Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD V-500
It's a solid-body with a very solid glossy black finish. It's a V (Mustaine-style) shape with a mahogany body with a string-thru body bridge that really compliments the wood.
 Sound: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 8.9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.9
 Features: 8.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) 35 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
LTD V-500 Reviewed by: SMK626, on november 15, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: This is a pretty new 2007 ESP Model out now, that I was able to get my hands on early on. I believe Korean made. Comes with 24 XJ frets with a 25.5 scale. It's a solid-body with a very solid glossy black finish. It's a V (Mustaine-style) shape with a mahogany body with a String-thru body bridge that really compliments the wood. The neck is a 3-peice maple/rosewood with a neck-thru body and also includes the earvana compensated nut. It comes with active dual 81 pickups with 2 volume, 1 toggle, and 1 tone. It also comes with Grover tuners which can be a bummer due to the fact that there is no locking (I plan on ordering some sperezels) Pretty Standard features with nothing real special. It came with all the basic tools. I would have bought the case with it, but sadly they didn't have it. // 8

Sound: The sound is actually really amazing for the price. I mostly play metal but sometimes drift off to rock, blues and classical. I use a Peavey Triple XXX with it. It is not noisy at all. I barely need a noise gate with this. It tends to give out a really warm clear sound on the neck that, with some distortion, can become decently chunky. On the bridge is still has the warm sound being complimented by the mahogany body, yet with of course, more treble and suprisingly more clarity. It works extremely well yet a bit awkward when it comes to effects. It does not seem to work a Wah-Pedal too well. Other then that it has lots of variety to it. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I first got it, the action was a bit too high when playing it. I had that adjusted immediately. The neck has a pretty fast feel to it, and gives some good upper-fret access. The pickups were adjusted just fine. Other then the action everything else was just perfect. No problems. The finish was flawless with only one hairline scratch in the back. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar seems well fit for Live playing. The hardware seems durable. The strap buttons seems extremely sable, yet I did have those replaced right away with Dunlop Straplocks. The guitar felt kind of unbalenced yet I was ready for that considering the shape. I do believe I can depends on it, yet I would most likely use it as a backup due to the fact that I have some nicer guitars, not only that but the fact that it's not locking. Maybe when I do get the sperzels on I'll use it as a main guitar. The finish seems extremely durable yet I'm very careful. The fact that it has pointy edges worries me. // 10

Overall Impression: I'm in a metal band and the pickups along with the wood seem to go perfect for my type of music. I've been playing for over 3 years now, and I own a couple other guitars, including a EC-1000, RGTHRG1, Dime Razorback, M-II, etc. This one actually beats my Razorback (I was actually very displeased with what I got in the Razorback for the money). If this were lost or stolen, I would work as hard as I could to get a new one, due to the fact that it's my first V and one of the the best one's I've felt (1st being Alexi's V). I love the tone from the combination of the wood and Active pickups, as well as the shape itself and decently easy fret access. I hated the fact that it came without any lockings. My favorite feature is the string-thru body just cause you're getting more sound from the wood. I compared to all my other guitars and some other V's and this is actually really good for the money. the Jackson's are too small for me and have a average feel, the Gibson's actually matched up pretty well, but when it comes to the feel and the tone for the music I play. This V beat all of those. I just really wish it had the locking and maybe was more balanced. If you're looking for a kick ass V, get this one. It maybe average but does give you everything you need. // 9

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overall: 8.6
LTD V-500 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 711

Purchased from:

Features: Brand spanking new, the V-500 is ESP's replacement "King V" shaped guitar after the departure of Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine. The V-500 is manufactured in Korea, as are most mid to high end LTD model guitars. The guitar features 24 Extra Jumbo frets with the model name at the 12th fret. The body of the guitar is mahogany, while the neck is maple with a rosewood top. The finish is a simple black satin. The bridge is Standard Tune-O-Matic, with the strings through the guitar body. The V-500 uses Grover tuners, which are much better than the ESP brand Standard tuners that come equipped with lower end models. The pickups are dual EMG 81s, and the controls are Volume, Volume, Tone, and Three Way Selector. Perhaps the most intresting feature of this guitar is that it comes Standard with the Earvana compensated nut. This special guitar nut improves the intonation of the guitar in the lower frets (from 1st fret to 12th), a problem that has plagued many guitar players of the past. // 9

Sound: The EMG 81s are excellent for my style of playing, as I play metal (death, thrash, black). The pickups produce no feedback on my practice amp, and has a very sharp attack. The sound from the bridge pickup is very sharp with a lengthy sustain. The sound from the neck pickup is not as sharp, with an increased low end and a lengthy sustain. The mahogany construction of the guitar gives it a very clear, heavy sound used in most styles of metal (unlike alder bodies). The guitar is not suitable for clean sounds as the EMGs have mid scoop. The clean tone is quite dull. However, the guitar is remarkable with mid to high distortion/overdrive. It can produce very powerful chugging riffs and crystal clear guitar solos that utilze the higher registers of the fretboard. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar arrived through a courier service from another city. The action is a bit low and produces a slight buzzing when fretting the lower strings at certain frets. The pickups are adjusted so that they produce roughly the same amount of noise. Apart from the action, everything else was perfect. The finish had no scratches or dents and the wires were bundled for cleanliness. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The guitar has two horns that are quite long and are prone to bumps. Apart from that, the body and neck of the guitar are very solid. The hardware is of high quality, though I replaced the Standard strap buttons with Schaller strap locks. I can depend on this guitar without a backup. The finish on the black nickel parts of the guitar can rub off, especially the bridge. // 8

Overall Impression: I play in a blackened death metal band (think Immortal meets Nile meets Emperor) and this guitar is perfect for slaying the masses. I have been playing for roughly three years, but that being said, I can play complex riffs (Children Of Bodom riffs, Megadeth riffs, Slayer riffs). My other gear consists of a budget priced Yamaha Strat copy and an Ibanez 4 string bass. If my axe was stolen, I would first destroy the person Who stole it, and if I cannot find it, perhaps order another one (tough I am quite short on cash). The shape is unmistakeable. The horns give the guitar a very aggresive look, fitting to it's intended purpose. The one setback is the black nickel hardware. The black dye wear out quickly. However, the Earvana compensated nut and the grover tuners are a definate plus. When I was looking to purchase a guitar, I also looked at the ESP EX-400, but decided against that because of the 22 fret setup and the fact that the guitar was unbalanced in that the guitar always felt heavier on the neck side. I chose this guitar for the amazing price and excellent playability. // 9

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overall: 9
LTD V-500 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 477.16

Purchased from: Mean Axe Music

Features: The V-500 has a set-thru neck that is made from 3 piece maple and rosewood, and is a 25.5" scale with white binding are dot inlays (other than the V-500 in the 12th fret). The body is made from mahogany. The bridge is is a tune-o-matic, and has string-thru body. The V-500 has a black pick guard, that doesn't really help with protecting the body. It wouldn't really be noticeable it they didn't put the white outline on the bottom of it. The pick guard is where the; volume, volume, toggle, and tone(nickel black) are located. The pickups are a pair of EMG 81 actives. The tuners a Grovers(nickel black as well). // 9

Sound: This guitar has an awesome sound for stuff like metal and hard rock, but for slower stuff not the greatest but still pretty good, but if you play slow stuff you going look weird playing on a Flying V guitar. I like mostly Megadeth. And this suits the genre perfectly since Dave Mustaine played the exact same guitar. It has a god sound, I have no altered it in any way, other than taking off the volume, tone and toggle to take off the plastic on the pick guard. And to fit the loose volume knobs. I have only had this guitar for a few days so I haven't tried it out with my amp a whole lot. The sound without an amp is a rich bright sound. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got this guitar is was near perfect, only thing I had to fix was the controls. They were loose so I had to tighten them back up. The pick ups are fine for now, may need adjusting in a little bit but good for now. Everything on it works great and nothing wrong with it at all. The only thing I am annoyed with is that when you play it you get marks all over it from you hand moving, but that is non avoidable. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is tough, and made to last. I admit I have hit the ends off a few things here and there and no marks. Them controls have to be taken off with an allen key(included with guitar) so they wont fall off from just moving around. The strap buttons are solid, but the strap guard got for this wont fit around the buttons so I have to get new ones are a strap that has it built in. If I were in a gig I would defiantly use back up just because I love this guitar so much. // 9

Overall Impression: I play mostly metal, and rock stuff, so it suits me perfectly. I have only been playing for about a year to year and a half now, and own 2 others, one old small acoustic, and a Typhoon bass. The thing that is fustrating about this guitar, is that there are only about 2, maybe 3 cases out there that can fit it. Since the body is so long. overall I love this guitar, and wish I would have bought it along time ago. When I was looking t other guitars I was looking at the EC-1000 and an Epiphone Les Paul Custom. I chose this one because it is what I have wanted for the longest time, and suits me best. // 10

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overall: 9.6
LTD V-500 Reviewed by: Ezz_zombie, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: (Through Distingo Music)

Features: This is the 2007 Edition of ESP LTD V-500 Guitar which is currently no longer in production and instead renamed to LTD V-401 with the same features. Since it is an LTD it is probably manufactured in Korea or Indonesia. This Guitar has 24XJ frets with a Set-thru neck with the scale of 25.5" made of maple wood and a rosewood fingerboard, it features the earvana compensated nut that works kinda like a bridge saddle is compensated for intonation. The guitar body is made of mahogany wood however the guitar isn't heavy at all. It has a black glossy finish, and a black pickguard. This guitar is similar in shape to the King-v (KV2) guitar more like the one mustaine used, and not like Alexi's randy rhoads or Gibson's flying-V, which is great for reaching the higher notes easily. One of the best features of that guitar is it's Tune-O-Matic bridge with the strings-thru-body, it's just the most natural, tone-delivering bridge ever made, and works perfectly with the 2 powerful EMG 81 active humbucker pickups and doesnt't have the floating bridge-related issues. Each pickup has it's volume knob, and a master tone knob and a pickup toggle. The Grover tuners work great, dunno why all the fuss about not having sperzels. Of course sperzels are better but those are fine too and it's not like you have a whammy bar to dive bomb and mess up your tuning or something. // 10

Sound: I play almost thrash and death metal almost exclusively and this is the ultimate metal axe is combined with the right pedals and amplifier (note: avoid any crappy digital effects. They'll make any guitar sound like sh-t), the EMGs produce no noise at all what'soever however I'd recommend Ernie Ball strings as the Pickups are soo powerful that they will detect even the slightest string vibrations and make your playing sound dirty or sloppy if you use bad strings. So, Ernie Ball or D-Addrio strings are recommended with these EMGs or any other high-output active pickups. The Guitar has a pretty decent clean sound however if you wanna play Joe Satriani or Steve Vai you should go for the Ibanez JS or JEM. This ESP v-500 is for pure f--king metal! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Since I live in Egypt -feel sorry for me please- and I ordered the guitar from a US online store so, of course I had to adjust the action, other than that everything else was great. I can't say if the pickups are well adjusted or not because the output sound depends on personal taste, but I leave 3 millimeters between the pickup and the strings for best results (and it came adjusted to the 3mm I didn't even have to adjust it myself). The only finish-flaw I'd have to say is the glossy pain itself as it leaves finger marks, you have to wash your hand before playing and even in breaks between playing as not to let the oils form your skin ruin the finish or stain., I'd usually prefer a more rough texture than a glossy one, but it's a matter of personal taste. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar does withstand live playing, in an underground scene like the Egyptian one this is a super A-class guitar! Bands play Live here with yamahas or pearl rivers and other weird beginner-brands. I think many great guitarists form well-known bands use this exact guitar too, like Abbath from "Immortal", that dude from "The Black Dahlia Murder", and the other dude from "Dying Fetus" that left the band now. Haha The Hardware seems pretty strong and stable I'm just worried if I dropped the guitar it'll surely break one of the "V" horns or legs or whatever you call them. The V design itself isnt as shock absorbing as strats for example. But since this is not a punk rock guitar so I don't think you would have to worry about that as metal guitarists don't mess around and toss the guitar round their necks! I would most certainly use that guitar in a gig without having a backup as this guitar stays in tune, and delivers a sound that is unmatched by any other guitar, I'd just have a totally complete different sound without it. // 9

Overall Impression: As I've mentioned before, this is the Ultimate metal axe, if u're into Cannibal Corpse, Cryptopsy, Behemoth, Decapitated or more into thrash like Laaz Rockit, Megadeth, Kayser, Demolition Hammer than you've got the guitar u've been looking for. It also works well for melodic stuff too if u're into it. The EMG81 is the bets pickup out there and u've got two of it! So you can basically play any type of extreme music on that guitar. I've been playing for four years now and I own a crappy Behringer amp and multieffects processor, but I'm saving up to buy a marshal tube amp that has a decent distortion and some pedals rather than the digital one I have now. I've tried this guitar in the studio and on my friends gears and it's just the best guitar I've ever played with, if it were stolen I'd get the same guitar again, I'm literally inlove with this incredible guitar and you will too when you try it out, this has been a very positive review and I know I must be neutral but believe it it's hard when you own such a beauty like that guitar. I did a lot of research b4 I bought it, and compared it to the Dean RazorBack and Jackson V and this guitar just owns them anytime, any day! // 10

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overall: 8.2
LTD V-500 Reviewed by: KungMagnus, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 890

Purchased from: Musikbörsen

Features: I don't know in what year it was made but probably around 07-08 and it's made in Korea. It is a 25,5 scale and has 24 frets aswell as a rosewood fingerboard. Solid top. Mahogny body and maple neck, thru construction with white binding around the neck and headstock. The finnish is a pretty normal glossy black one. It's a V-shape with string-thru body and tune-O-matic bridge. Comes with two active EMG 81 and two volume, one tone knob and a 3-way selector. The tuners are grovers. It didn't come with any case or accessories, only the nessesary tools. // 8

Sound: It suit my kind of music really really well as I play almost non-stop metal of all kinds. I like bands like Metallica Trivium, Children Of Bodom, Bullet For My Valentine and everything in between and it can handle it all. I'm using it with a Vox AD100 amp, a Boss Metal Zone and Dunlop CryBaby wah. You can get all sorts of sounds with this combination. It's not very noisy but if you use a really high-gain setting you may get some feedback if your'e not blocking the strings with your'r hand while not playing. It's ment for metal of course, but despite that it is pretty good all-round. The two EMG 81 may not be the best combination for a smooth clean tone tough. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came perfect with 9-42 gauge strings I belive, good action, no flaws or what so ever. But I adjusted allmost everything anyway as I put on some 11-50 strings and tuned it to D Standard. Everything seems to be made of good quality so far, I've owned it for about 5 months now and it is still perfect, no paint flaws or anything. The color on the bridge easy wears out tough due palm muting but thats nothing that bothers really. The playability of the guitar is also very nice as it has a pretty thin and fast neck. You can access the upper frets fairly easy but it could have been a little better in my opinion. I have played a Jackson RR24 which had slightly better feeling neck and upper fret access for example, but there is not a very big difference. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have not gigged with the axe yet but I am very confident it will preform very well Live. The hardware will last a long time, with exeption for the color on the bridge wearing out. Strap buttons are great, kinda big and solid so you wont drop the guitar very easy. Sure I can depend on it, as long as you keep the battery for the pickups and strings fresh before every performance it will be no worries. Still it is kinda stupid to gig without any backup if a string eventualy would break or something like that. // 9

Overall Impression: As I mentioned before I play all kinds of metal mostly and it is an absolut perfect match for that. I have been playing for 3,5 years now and I also own a Epiphone Les Paul Custom alpine white which I use for a bit more classic stuff like blues and such. I've also had a Jackson RR3 Randy Rhodes, but sadly, it's not with me anymore. If my LTD V-500 got stolen I would not get it again, I would try something new instead. What I like the most about this guitar is probobly the powerfull EMG's, the neck and headstock. It looks and sounds pretty badass. I don't like the pickup combo tough, I would rather have a 81/85 or 81/60 than 81/81 and the paint is pretty boring actually, I wish it had some color alternatives. I was choosing between this, a Jackson RR24 and a Jackson RR5. The RR24 was the only one I had chance to test and compare with, but I took the LTD because of the two pickups as the RR24 only has one and isn't that versatile. I also felt I wanted a guitar with fixed bridge as I earlier had a RR3 with floyd. The LTD also won over the RR5 because it had 24 frets and the RR5 had 22. I really like my V-500 but I just wish it didn't have the boring plain black finnish. If it was white with black bevels/pinstripes it would almost be perfect. // 8

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overall: 8.2
LTD V-500 Reviewed by: Drew Dolezal, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: Russo's Guitar Center

Features: Made in korea. It has 24 extra jumbo frets. Neck scale is 25-1/2". 3-peice, set thru, maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, thin and you shaped. Mohagany body with a black gloss finish. The body shape is a sharp V style. Has a tune-o-matic bridge. Has two EMG 81s. 2 volume controls, 1 tone control and a 3-way pickup selector. Grover tuners. Nothing special, pretty basic, but its all I need. // 8

Sound: I play all kinds of music. But my main styles of music are metal and Hard rock. This suits my musical style very well. I am playing with a Peavey XXL solid state head on a Behringer cab(Dont worry it is loaded with Eminance Red Coat Lynch Super Vs). The effects I use are an Ibanez Screaming Demon wah and a Boss Goise Gate. With my setup, on the distorted channel, the highs sound great, very clear. Pinch harmonics scream out. The mids Shine through pretty well, but not as much as I would like. The Bass end of the frequency can get a bit muddy. But its isn't terrible. The EMGs keep it pretty tight. The cleans arent so great, even in the neck position. They are okey but not great. They break up very early, but i didnt expect the cleans to be great any way, the EMGs are pretty hot. The pickups could have a little bit more tone but they are fine. All in all a great metal sound. It can do dirty blues and some cleaner blues, but thats a bout it. Its pretty much made for metal, but thats ok because thats what I bought it for. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was set up ready to go out of the box. Pickups, bridge and string hieght were fine. No flaws I could see in the finish. The volume and tone knobs were a bit loose, a qiuck couple of turns with a socket wrench and it was fine. They haven't come loose since. It was setup very well. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar can stand Live playing. The hardware is pretty sturdy and the strap buttons are tight, they do their job. I have gigged with it and it has a few nicks on the points of the fins but its not noticable. The paint looks to be very thick. Still shows no sign of wear after hours of sweaty playing, on the body or the neck. This guitar is pretty reliable. Although, if you do some Live playing the paint on the fins will get nicked just because the fins are quite long and cumbursome. // 8

Overall Impression: I have been playing 5 years, going on 6. I have played this guitar nearly every day for about a year and a half and haven't got tired of it yet. It's just an all around nice, classy looking guitar that wont leave a hole in your wallet. I compared it to some other more expensive ESPs. I am not a guitar Nazi and this one fealt and sounded almost as good as the others I tried so I bought it. Great Guitar. // 8

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overall: 8.2
LTD V-500 Reviewed by: olpaj, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 584

Purchased from:

Features: It was made in 2008 or 2007 in Korea. It features 24 extra jumbo frets on a 25,5" scaled rosewood fingerboard, 42mm earvana compensated nut, 3 piece thin U-shaped maple neck set-thru a V-shaped mahogany body, black gloss paint with white binding on the neck and headstock, pearloid Dot inlays with a V-500 on the 12th fret. Grover tuners, tune-o-matic bridge with string-thru body end, 2 active EMG 81's in the neck and bridge positions, 3 toggle switch, 2 volume knobs (1 for each pickup) and a master tone knob with a small pickguard underneath them. Metal parts finished with black nickel. Came with 2 allen wrenches. // 8

Sound: I play mostly heavy and thrash metal, grunge and blues-rock, it suits that style very well. I plug my guitar into a Randall RX35DM, I use the built-in overdrive and effects. The guitar is a little noisy but it's not hum, only string noise, with the strings muted it is really quiet. The sound is dark, deep and full with warm lows and sharp highs. The clean sound isn't that great, but this guitar wasn't made for classic rock, it's designed for heavy styles, the EMG 81's aren't that versatile, but the high output gives power to your chords, palm-muted notes, even in the neck position it gives quite a crunch, 2 volume knobs is a good option because you can make the killswitch effect. Metallica's Master of Puppets album is a perfect sound demo if you're interested, it's basically what it sounds like. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I was afraid how the guitar would come set up, but I was amazed when I started playing it. The action was low without any buzz (!!!). I lowered it a little though, my fingers just flow on it but I'm getting some buzz on the E and A strings. Frets are perfectly leveled, intonation is perfect too, didn't need to adjust it. The ESP's Vs are better compared to the Jackson Vs because the body is bigger and the jack input is placed at an angle in the horn, so you can place your thigh between the cutaway while sitting down. You need to get used to playing a V, at first it might be a little uncomfortable, but you'll get used to it. On the other hand playing while standing is wonderful. The guitar is quite light (although it's mahogany!), balanced and feels perfect on your body. All the parts are properly routed and placed. No paint flaws or scratches, excellent finish. It was even quite in tune when I unpacked it, just needed to restring it, because the factory strings were poorly strung and didn't stay in tune, they probably do it with a machine. Otherwise than that I was really impressed. Other factories should learn from ESP how to build guitars! // 9

Reliability & Durability: I haven't played live with it yet, but it looks really solid. The hardware is placed firmly and looks durable. Only thing is you need to look out not to hit anything with the V horns because of their length. The strap buttons are solid and sit in place. You can depend on it for sure. I would use it with back-up only because I'm preventive, also I use 2 guitars for different songs. The finish is really good and I'm sure it won't wear off quickly. The paint might go off on the neck, that's normal for guitars with painted necks, but that's a matter of years though. // 8

Overall Impression: I used to play the classical guitar, but I switched to electrics, which I've been playing for 2 years or so. I also own a cheap Ibanez GRG270B and a spanish Roberto Sanchez classical guitar. I play mostly metal like Metallica, Pantera, Iron Maiden, Black Label Society, Slayer, Children Of Bodom, Machine Head and Amon Amarth, although I'm also into grunge like Nirvana and Pearl Jam and blues-rock, mostly polish bands. I'm completely satisfied with this guitar, I knew what I was buying and for the price it was quite a bargain. It had all the specs I was looking for in the middle-price range and it looks so beautiful! If it was stolen and I had the money I would surely buy a new one, or replace it with a more expensive ESP from Japan. The things I love is the looks, the feel while playing and the powerful sound. I only wish the clean tone was a bit warmer and brighter, it doesn't sound as well as a Stratocaster or something like that on my clean channel. I played a few different guitars at my music store, mostly Jacksons, Ibanez and others in a similar price range, but they're nothing compared to this. I haven't played it before I bought it, only a couple guitars with similar features including an LTD Eclipse on EMGs. On Youtube there's a user named dmometalguitar, he's a great guitarist and submits really honest and professional comparisons of guitars, pickups, bridge types and so on and it was good to watch before buying a new guitar. // 8

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