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Thread: any suggetions?

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    any suggetions?

    I''m redoing a small pedalboard that will have 3 pedals powered by one wart that has plenty of current for the job. But i'm wondering if there are better ways to do it to assure low noise or other unwanted interaction. Like maybe just splitting the + up 3 ways going to each pedal but just one - lead attached to the signal ground. Any suggestions as to the best way to go ?

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    I have a Marshall 2203 full stack in right now that gets played with the gain on 8 and turned up to deafening levels. It's highly sensitive to any kind of noise and has three pedals running daisy-chained off a cheap Chinese SMPS supply. It's a noisy setup and my gut feeling was that the supply wasn't up to it and was bound to be causing additional noise. So I subbed in a brand-new One-Spot Pro CS7 and connected each pedal individually to a single isolated output with short leads and no daisy chain.

    Zero difference. No detectable change in hum or anything else. There's a slight bleed from a Chorus pedal oscillator when in bypass mode that's there with both supplies. I also tried my bench supply with the same results.

    The lesson from this is that something that may be perceived as a problem in reality may not be an issue at all. You (and I) may be wanting to fix something that is just fine like it is.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    I have a Marshall 2203 full stack in right now that gets played with the gain on 8 and turned up to deafening levels. It's highly sensitive to any kind of noise and has three pedals running daisy-chained off a cheap Chinese SMPS supply. It's a noisy setup and my gut feeling was that the supply wasn't up to it and was bound to be causing additional noise. So I subbed in a brand-new One-Spot Pro CS7 and connected each pedal individually to a single isolated output with short leads and no daisy chain.

    Zero difference. No detectable change in hum or anything else. There's a slight bleed from a Chorus pedal oscillator when in bypass mode that's there with both supplies. I also tried my bench supply with the same results.

    The lesson from this is that something that may be perceived as a problem in reality may not be an issue at all. You (and I) may be wanting to fix something that is just fine like it is.
    Have you tried using batteries in the pedals? My pedal board is a bit noisy and I use a OneSpot. In studio I pull what pedals I'm using off the board and use batteries.

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    If nothing else, a quick test with batteries would tell you if it's the power supply causing problems.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    If nothing else, a quick test with batteries would tell you if it's the power supply causing problems.
    I haven't even begun to put it together yet, thats why i'm asking....so i can avoid a lot of time spent wring a power rail that might cause issues.

    By the way, what does a one spot have over a normal wall wart besides the obvious wiring options and plenty of current?

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    I can't speak to the One-Spot specifically because I haven't been inside one. Typically, however, in this type of pedal power thingy, each jack has it's own separate supply starting at the front end with a multi-tap transformer that supplies several rectifier circuits. Each rectifier powers a corresponding output jack. So, each supply is independent of the other for isolation. I've worked on other brands that are like this. Off hand, I remember a Furman unit and a few others. Again, I can't say if the One-Spot is this design for sure.

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    The most critical piece of information is whther any of the pedals - and especially if TWO or more - are digital, or have a clock of some kind in them.

    The One-Spot is quiet and dependable, but may not have the sort of filtering that prevents noise spikes from digital pedals, sharing that power via daisy chain, from causing noise. If what you intend to power is a trio of analog pedals, then you should be good to go with a One-Spot and daisy-chain cable.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    The most critical piece of information is whther any of the pedals - and especially if TWO or more - are digital, or have a clock of some kind in them.

    The One-Spot is quiet and dependable, but may not have the sort of filtering that prevents noise spikes from digital pedals, sharing that power via daisy chain, from causing noise. If what you intend to power is a trio of analog pedals, then you should be good to go with a One-Spot and daisy-chain cable.
    A analog OD, a analog chorus and a digital tuner, all true bypass.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    I can't speak to the One-Spot specifically because I haven't been inside one. Typically, however, in this type of pedal power thingy, each jack has it's own separate supply starting at the front end with a multi-tap transformer that supplies several rectifier circuits. Each rectifier powers a corresponding output jack. So, each supply is independent of the other for isolation. I've worked on other brands that are like this. Off hand, I remember a Furman unit and a few others. Again, I can't say if the One-Spot is this design for sure.
    Dude... a OneSpot or a Godlyk is not like a Power Brick. It’s simply a small PMPS power supply that takes up “one spot” on an AC power strip. It’s daisy chained to power pedals... no isolation . The only problem I’ve had with them is that they don’t play nice with som digital pedals. I suspect that the chipper transitor frequency beats on the clock frequency. There’s always a little bleed and it’s to fast too hear in analog applications.

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Mick mentioned the One-Spot Pro CS7 in post #2, so that's what I was referencing (link here). There's a gut shot down the page and you can see what appear to be isolation transformers in there, like what I was referring to. It also says "pure isolated power" on the lid. So, maybe we are talking about different things here?

    At any rate, your initial idea of trying batteries is a good one. Before even futzing with power supplies, it's an easy way to tell if power is even the issue.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    Mick mentioned the One-Spot Pro CS7 in post #2, so that's what I was referencing (link here). There's a gut shot down the page and you can see what appear to be isolation transformers in there, like what I was referring to. It also says "pure isolated power" on the lid. So, maybe we are talking about different things here?

    At any rate, your initial idea of trying batteries is a good one. Before even futzing with power supplies, it's an easy way to tell if power is even the issue.
    You are absolutely correct. I thought a OneSpot was a OneSpot. I guess this is their version of a power brick? Seems to have individually regulated and isolated power ports. My apologies. I didn’t know this product existed!

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    The CS7 is my new go-to for quiet, isolated pedal power. I have one running three Le Preamps and a torpedo simulator together (a heavy load that will not tolerate shared power) and another one will power the rest of the pedals.

    Batteries make no difference to the setup I referred to - the noise is mainly from cables (over 70' of old and tired cable) the guitar itself and a boost pedal. I was using this to illustrate not to assume that a particular power supply configuration is noisy.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    The CS7 is my new go-to for quiet, isolated pedal power. I have one running three Le Preamps and a torpedo simulator together (a heavy load that will not tolerate shared power) and another one will power the rest of the pedals.

    Batteries make no difference to the setup I referred to - the noise is mainly from cables (over 70' of old and tired cable) the guitar itself and a boost pedal. I was using this to illustrate not to assume that a particular power supply configuration is noisy.
    What about the idea i mentioned earlier of running the positive to all the pedals but running the neg to the board's signal out jack ground? Would just make the routing and all easier and maybe less likelihood of ground loops?

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    You are absolutely correct. I thought a OneSpot was a OneSpot. I guess this is their version of a power brick? Seems to have individually regulated and isolated power ports. My apologies. I didn’t know this product existed!
    No apology necessary. We were just talking about 2 different devices. Simple as that.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    If nothing else, a quick test with batteries would tell you if it's the power supply causing problems.


    I haven't even begun to put it together yet, thats why i'm asking....so i can avoid a lot of time spent wring a power rail that might cause issues.
    So WHEN you get the pedals, slap three batteries into them and FIND OUT what you are up against.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Like Enzo and Dude said. There's not a problem until there's a problem. It's conscientious to want to avoid problems, but in THIS case these devices are designed to be connected together in front of the amp and be powered by a shared source. You may find there's no problem at all. So start by doing as Dude suggested and just hook everything up. Then power the pedals with batteries. If the batteries are quieter you can start troubleshooting the power supply then. But why do it before that?

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    It is quite technically possible to filter the power line, even when daisy chaining. Ideally, this would be a short extension that accepts the male plug from the daisy-chain cable, and sticks a suitable-value choke in series before plugging into the power-jack of the pedal. The choke serves to block any spikes on the power line so that they don't get "shared".

    I've been buddies with Truetone's chief engineer RG Keen since around 1992. He s a former long-time hardware engineer for IBM, before moving to Truetone, back in the Visual Sound days. As the designer of the One-Spot (and I believe the bricks they make as well), he makes a point of collecting reports of all instances of difficulties users experience with the supply, including both breakdown reports and noise reports.

    Truetone does sell a number of adapters for the One-Spot - 1 SPOT Accessories ? Truetone - but I'm not seeing any line-noise adapters in there. Perhaps someone else sells them. Or else Bob Weil figured that if people needed cleaner, more isolated, power they would opt for a power brick with separately regulated outputs, rather than deal with cumbersome adaptors.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    I put the board together today but one more pedal is to go on it which is out for delivery and should arrive any second. I wired it like my old one with a female power jack for an adaper but i also use it with a single 9v that i made a cable for with a 9v clip on one end and plug same as my wall wart on the other. I use a 9v when playing out anywhere. So i checked it with both once i got it done and the wall wart has some low hum. Nothing bad but i was wondering....would one with better filtering help and if so how would i determine what DOES have better filtering? I have a 12v one thats probably really good since it;s for a digital processor, so will 12v be ok with 9v pedals?

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    I find that the Boss supplies are well filtered. In fact, many Boss pedals expect that well filtered supply and don't work worth a hoot with a generic supply. I've also added filtering to existing pedals or supplies to get rid of that hum. Simple as slapping a cap across the supply input/output.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    I find that the Boss supplies are well filtered. In fact, many Boss pedals expect that well filtered supply and don't work worth a hoot with a generic supply. I've also added filtering to existing pedals or supplies to get rid of that hum. Simple as slapping a cap across the supply input/output.
    Just a cap from - to + ? I just pulled the chorus out of the mailbox and plugged it into the wiring i already had ready for it. When it's on theres a pretty loud hum so i will need to try that because i tried what should have been a better PSU than the tascam i was using, a roland 300ma 9v one and it hummed WAY louder to the point of being unusable. So battery=quiet, tascam PSU=hum, roland PSU=unusably loud hum.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Fulltone pedals are notoriously bad if they're connected to a noisy supply. As in a wall-wart that will work with just about anything just produces more hum than signal with something like an OCD. So you have to go the extra mile in assuring that you have a quiet PSU to use with them.

    To me that's a sign of a cheap-ass design that skimps on filtering parts, which is something that you should not have to deal with when you're buying expensive boutique pedals. It's just crazy. But then I've heard Mike Fulton swear at customers and call them dumb asses for not using his own branded PSU, and going so far as to invalidate warranties, claiming that a noisy PSU damaged his pedals. Weird.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Oh, and with even a battery and the chorus OFF you can hear the clicking of the chorus rate. And it's true bypass so thats riding on the power supply i guess. It's supposedly analog but that makes me wonder. Gonna have to try and return it i suppose.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Well, daz...

    Sort of up your alley,.. There are literally dozens of schematics and DIY projects for building a regulated, filtered 9V supply for your pedal board available with very little searching. Ready made special weshial supplies are a little spendy, some aren't bad, but I wonder how effective they are.

    For that matter, we don't know what's causing the hum. Is it 60Hz or 120Hz? You can usually tell just by listening. 60Hz would probably be a ground loop due to pedal design and 120Hz would be a shitty power supply. (corrections accepted here).

    I was changing pedals now and then so I used rechargeable 9V's and stayed conscientious before gigs that they were off a fresh charge. NBD. So I never had to troubleshoot noisy power supplies. I would think that anything you have already has a cap from + to - though that doesn't prevent you from adding another one. But since there should, at the very least, be a big uf electrolytic there already you could parallel a .1uf cap with it to improve it's HF impedance. This would only help if the noise is 120Hz or some other buzz.

    If it's 60Hz then your original ideal could work. If the problem is an AC ground loop that the power supply is coupling then you should be able to send the - from the power supply to one pedal only. Since I don't know how the pedals are wired I can't promise it will work. So try to proto it in a way that doesn't ruin your power supplies in the process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daz View Post
    ...you can hear the clicking of the chorus rate.... It's supposedly analog but that makes me wonder.
    Analog bucket brigades do have clocks.
    https://www.electrosmash.com/

    -rb

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    Analog bucket brigades do have clocks.
    https://www.electrosmash.com/

    -rb
    Yes, but "true bypass" (lying?). Must be coupling through the power supply.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    I did try this.......i sent only the + to the chorus letting the signal ground carry the -. Didn't help. But since i discovered the clock ticking thing is there even when powering the chorus with it's own 9v battery with the PSU powering everything else, i realized it's got to go back. That ticking will obviously be there no matter what. Crappy design. I just hope they don't try and stick me with shipping for this POS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    Well, daz...

    Sort of up your alley,.. There are literally dozens of schematics and DIY projects for building a regulated, filtered 9V supply for your pedal board available with very little searching. Ready made special weshial supplies are a little spendy, some aren't bad, but I wonder how effective they are.

    For that matter, we don't know what's causing the hum. Is it 60Hz or 120Hz? You can usually tell just by listening. 60Hz would probably be a ground loop due to pedal design and 120Hz would be a shitty power supply. (corrections accepted here).

    I was changing pedals now and then so I used rechargeable 9V's and stayed conscientious before gigs that they were off a fresh charge. NBD. So I never had to troubleshoot noisy power supplies. I would think that anything you have already has a cap from + to - though that doesn't prevent you from adding another one. But since there should, at the very least, be a big uf electrolytic there already you could parallel a .1uf cap with it to improve it's HF impedance. This would only help if the noise is 120Hz or some other buzz.

    If it's 60Hz then your original ideal could work. If the problem is an AC ground loop that the power supply is coupling then you should be able to send the - from the power supply to one pedal only. Since I don't know how the pedals are wired I can't promise it will work. So try to proto it in a way that doesn't ruin your power supplies in the process.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    Yes, but "true bypass" (lying?). Must be coupling through the power supply.
    Definately true bypass because with the chorus off it passing signal perfectly normally with no power to the chorus. Same with my other 2 pedals.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daz View Post
    Definately true bypass because with the chorus off it passing signal perfectly normally with no power to the chorus. Same with my other 2 pedals.
    So why is the LFO audible when the unit is powered by a battery and switched off? Not true enough bypass apparently.?.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    yep. It is true bypass in that it passes the full signal with no power. But it;s one flawed design because i even tried guitar.chorus.amp without the pedalboard and a battery and i can still hear the clock.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    The term "true bypass" means that when the pedal is off the guitars signal is isolated from the pedal circuitry entirely. I don't think I need to explain beyond this.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Ok, but them main reason people want it TB is to insure zero tonal degradation. I hear none of that. It just happens to ADD some unwanted artifacts but the tone doesn't change. What you are talking about probably if full on mechanical bypass which apparently it doesn't have. I think we discussed this here once about how some pedals use something called virtual true bypass or something along those lines. This is probably what we have here. Non TB cuts the signal out completely w/o a PSU connected.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    So why is the LFO audible when the unit is powered by a battery and switched off? Not true enough bypass apparently.?.
    True Bypass refers **only** to signal Hot, but signal Ground is always used.

    If pedal layout is terrible, or worse, didn´t have TBP at the Factory but it was added later by some YT University graduate, or is a Boutique pedal which almost guarantees the YTU diploma, any/all of these may mean a terrible, very dirty pedal ground.

    Tell us something about that pedal, some gut picture showing grounding, etc.

    The idea being:
    * if you have gross 1000mV ripple on the +9V rail, you van filter it down into inaudibility.

    *if you have minuscule 1mV buzz **on the groiund line**, it will be *everywhere*.

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    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    True Bypass refers **only** to signal Hot, but signal Ground is always used.

    If pedal layout is terrible, or worse, didn´t have TBP at the Factory but it was added later by some YT University graduate, or is a Boutique pedal which almost guarantees the YTU diploma, any/all of these may mean a terrible, very dirty pedal ground.

    Tell us something about that pedal, some gut picture showing grounding, etc.

    The idea being:
    * if you have gross 1000mV ripple on the +9V rail, you van filter it down into inaudibility.

    *if you have minuscule 1mV buzz **on the groiund line**, it will be *everywhere*.
    I'm not worried about the hum, it goes away with a battery so i know i can figure it out. My problem is the clock ticking which i believe is what it is and not fixable because even using the pedal by itself (not on the board with others) and using a battery and the chorus off the ticking is apparent. So It's going back, i already did a return request.

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  34. #34
    Old Timer daz's Avatar
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    What do you guys make of this comment i got at a forum when asking for recommendations for chorus that doesn't make that clicking noise...

    The clicking sound that you detest is the nature of true bypass pedals esp at lower price points. Boss pedals are buffered, so there is no clicking sound.
    Is he correct do you think? I would think the opposite but then being boss are not TB and are probably the #1 pedal manufacturer of all time, maybe he's onto something? I suppose a buffered pedal might be the way to go, tho i always figured buffers may be more likely to affect tone than TB.

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  35. #35
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    To me it looks like hogwash. A true bypass means there is an electrical switch BYPASSING the entire circuit. In other words any buffering would be bypassed.

    The popularity of the pedal, or the brand, or the number of them made does not change that fact.

    True bypass means when it is turned off it is the same as not being there entirely.

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    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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