I want to upgrade my AV-Reciver but am very affraid!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by CosmicOne, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. CosmicOne

    CosmicOne
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    My kit right now is as follows:

    KenWood KRF-5030D DolbyDigital only(Rated @ 110Wx5 it's power consumption is only 190w)
    Sony DVP-NS305
    Fronts Wharfedale Diamond 8.4
    Center Wharfedale Diamond 8c
    Rear Pioneer (old 3way speakers S-D55)

    am planning to upgrade my Reciver to a Yamaha RX-V750 or RX-V1400 also i migh upgrade the rears to Wharfedale Diamond 8.1.

    The problem is am really afraid to upgrade the reciver & get the same sound i have now(i will pay a large amount of money for upgrading),
    the probelm with my system now (i think manily the Kenwood amp) that the sound is loud & detailed but i don't feel am inside the movie,the system is not transparent at all (i can tell each sound coming from each speaker)i don't fell am surrounded it's more like "Hey there's something coming from the Rear left then here's another sound in the front right then here's some people talking in the center)i wish u get my drift guys?!?!!

    also am not an audio guru nor we have(in my Country) the same options as u have in US & Europe we even don't have the high quality wiring u have,am connecting my speakers with normal red & black wire,we only have good quality connectors from RadioShack but it's very expensive here,

    Also what do u think about my DVD "Sony 305" is it good or is it a a bad link for the new reciver am planning to get????

    I know this is a long post but please guys be patient with me;

    The last thing that am really confuesd between the new RXV750 & the RXV1400 coz the 1400 only have better amplifier & THX surround while the 750 have newer LSI's (YSS948) & have the new & good Pure direct mode(like found on the Z9) & have the new shape & it maybe better in Stereo performance due to the pure dirct mode,so what do u think is still a better buy???(the 1400 in my country is much much more expensive than the 750)

    Thanx guys in Advance & any help would be appreciated
     
  2. Knightshade

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    Hi CosmicOne,
    I know I go on about this but look to your source first.
    I'm not familiar with your equipment but upgrading the amplifier first may not be the answer. You will undoubtedly get an improvement over what you have but by upgrading your source (DVD) first the amp will atleast have a better signal to work with. An amp can only amplify what it is sent, poor signal into good amp = poor signal amplified well. I'm not saying do it this way but if your on a budget and not able to purchase DVD and Amp/Receiver staight away. Then I think you'd gain more (quicker) than if you upgraded the amp first.
    As for speaker cable. Can you get hold of CAT5 network cable? If so check out the cables section of this forum or PM me for how to make it up. Dirt cheap and very good quality.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. CosmicOne

    CosmicOne
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    Thanx dude for replying;
    i think my DVD is good i remeber i read a review for it on HomeCinema choice Online & they say it's good & gave it 4 out of 5 check the review here:
    (http://www.homecinemachoice.com/reviews/hccreviews/DVDPlayers/Sony/SonyDVPNS305.php)

    what's the CAT5 cables can u please post a pic for them so i might now them by looks!!but am not a beliver in cables & diff people said they make,rightnow am using ordinary cables but thick & i think they are fine.

    so that's why i narrowed my problems to the Reciver also i think Kenwood doesn't have a good reputaion on Surround sounds.

    thanx man for ur help.
     
  4. pez

    pez
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    im not all that convinced that dvd players actually contribute to the quality of sound at all, as they dont do any sound processing, they just passthrough the data thats on the dvd out the digital port to be processed by your processor/amp/receiver.

    its just a bitstream, straight from the dvd, how could the player affect it?

    pez
     
  5. Knightshade

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    Hi CosmicOne,
    CAT5 as speaker cable is all homemade. Copper strands used for high speed data transfer in the IT world make for excellent audio signal carriers as well. I know you may not believe in different cable making a difference but we're not talking about £50 a metre stuff. More like 20 pence a metre. I'll send you some pics.
    Hi Pez,
    Perhaps I should elaborate. When a disc is read by a laser on a CD/DVD player it sends the 1's and 0's off to the second stage of the CD/DVD player: The DAC (Digital to Analogue converter or processor on an AV reciever) this is where all the digital bits are converted into an analogue signal that your amplifiers can then send to your speakers. This can either be in the form of a CD/DVD player or a seperate CD/DVD transport and DAC/reciever. At some stage, be it in the DVD player or receiver, the signal has to be converted to an analogue signal.
    Problems arrise when the CD/DVD transport (Tray and laser assembly) are unable to read all the 1's and 0's off the CD. This could be due to poor quality laser, poor quality tray mechanism or dirt on the CD and countless other problems. So that's the first problem. Missing data. This information is then sent to the DAC. The DAC then processes what it receives and tries to make corrections to the missing data, flaws in the CD, instability and movement of the laser and tray, it also has to clean up timing issues so the instruments and voices sound 'right' and several other corrections. It only has a limited time to do this so obviously there are going to be some bits missing. When it's done all that it sends the analogue signal to the amplifiers. and finally to the speakers.
    As a general rule the more you spend the less you miss....
     
  6. pez

    pez
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    Howdy!

    so its a good idea to spend money on big amps that do the decoding.

    lets use the cheap ps2 as an example of something thats going to be in alot of houses.

    the ps2 outputs bitstream straight from the dvd, and i find it difficult to believe that even though it was built to a budget, the dvd drive misses lots of data from the disk, because if that were the case software/games wouldnt run on it (no matter how good the error correction was - and even that must be pretty good, or again, the main processors in the box wouldnt be able to play the software).

    video on the other hand is markedly different between low end and hi end dvd players (im running a pc here into a 1280x720 lcd projector - the video composite out of my ps2 is rubbish, whilst the scart RGB out of it is great, but it wont let you watch dvds over the RGB), as they do the digital decoding of the images themselves and normally output analog signals to your tv/monitor.

    pez
     
  7. CosmicOne

    CosmicOne
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    I came to the conclusion that the Amp is the problem coz when i also upgraded from very very old (1980) Akai 3way speakers to my new Diamond 8.4 also doesn't differ much from my not very new pioneer S-D55 speakers, there's wasn't much difference in performance also there's no difference in sound quality when watching DolbyDigital encoded DIVX movies on my pc through Audigy or SoundStorm or watching original DVD's on my Sony the same when listing to music cds on the sony or listing to MP'3s on PC,that's why i thought the reason is not in the source or speaker therefore i think it's the weak powered amp which can only give equall or less than it's total power consumption of 190Watt.

    Also i didn't observe any differnece when i upgraded form a ****ty RadioShack RCA center channel speaker (made of plastic with 4" woofers & 75watt & very small) to a Wharfedale Diamond8 center (100W 6" woofer Wood made)to match my 8.4's fronts. only very little new sounds can be heared that i didn't notice with the Plastic RCA.

    Even tried using the onborad DolbyDigital decoders on the Audigy & on the Soundstorm & comaring them with cyrus logice decoder on the Kenwood amp & guess what there's no difference.

    BTW i tried for connections Analogue connections & Digital coaxial connection,& optical connection,6ch inputs with PC & DVD & they all doesn't give any difference.
     
  8. Knightshade

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    Hi Perez,
    Audio signals are a bit more sensitive than data. The error correction will work well and sort out the Data. If this happens with audio the sound will be very flat, lifeless and sounding engineered.
    CosmicOne,
    I'm not familiar with your equipment but by what you say you appear to have narrowed it down to the amp. I would question that but it's only my opinion. If you can't here the difference between an MP3 and an original CD there is something badly wrong! Bear in mind CD's and DVD's are clocked at different speeds and will need seperate players to sound at there best.
    Pez,
    I don't believe integrated anythings are good! Keep things seperate, keep the signal paths as short as possible, give everything it's own power supplies and keep it simple.

    Before anyone decides to get nasty, these are my opinions.
    Have fun.
     
  9. pez

    pez
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    not trying to get nasty (apologies if this is how its come across). :oops:

    "Audio signals are a bit more sensitive than data"

    but at the end of the day the DVD player isnt really in the audio loop. so the dvd player (unless its doing the decoding) isnt going to affect the sound.

    it is only dealing with digital data, its down to your DAC (preferably in your amp/processor/receiver) to create analog audio (to go to the speakers) from the bitstream that is being passed from the dvd itself.

    all the data on a dvd is digital, and if there were any flaw in data on a dvd that the error correction couldnt do a perfect job of fixing then software (for example on a ps2 or xbox) just wouldnt work. at all.

    granted, when looking at cd players and all devices that output analog audio then quality counts, but the dvd players just pass digital audio data to other devices to do the tricky jobs.

    thanks for the cat5 idea! plenty of it here and i hadnt thought about using it with my speakers (got to run plenty of wire around here soon!). :thumbsup:

    pez
     
  10. Knightshade

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    No prob Pez,
    Looks like we're at cross wires. I tend to include the DAC as part of the source.

    :nono: It is at the beginning of the loop! A CD Transport is exactly the same as a DVD transport (apart from the mechanism) Both output digital signals to a DAC. If the transport is flawed the dac will have to work harder and may not be able to correct all the problems. A lot of the problems lie in the actual CD's themselves. If the CD is off centre or badly pressed or the laser isn't kept at exactly the right angle all the time information is lost. Cheaper players can't keep up with this. DACs can only do so much.
    I agree that a DAC is more important than a transport but having listened to a few different priced DVD players with the same outboard DAC I can tell you for sure that there is quite a difference. Not in the £50 - £1000 range but beyond that things start to change. So in my opinion the better the transport combined with a good DAC, the better the sound. I know i'm talking possibly small differences here but as you get further up the ladder the differences become far more pronounced.

    Forgetting that AV amps are fully integrated. I really can't go along with this as an exceptable solution! Old fashioned and fearing change I guess but from a 2 channel audio point of view this can't possibly be as good as having everything in seperate boxes with individual power supplies.
    I recently demoed a LINN UNIDISK 1.1 mind blowingly good DVD playback, Good SACD playback. 2 channel CD wasn't so hot. Couldn't get near exposure 3010 with DAC64 attached. Combining everything into a single box is not the ideal answer. It's a compromise.
    Apologies If i've lost the thread a bit here. Seem to be getting further and further away from CosmicOnes original post.
    Have fun with the cables. Let me know how much it costs you. I've got a competition going for who can make the cheapest cables... :D
     
  11. CosmicOne

    CosmicOne
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    More Feedback plz guys.
     
  12. Spoonfed

    Spoonfed
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    Out of curiosity i wonder if a PC could perhaps "be" a top peforming transport.

    Think about it....... CD's ripped to the HD using Exact Audio copy as an example which surely is better than any "on the fly" stuff even topend CD players do. (unless they rip the CD into a buffer.... check the data.... re buffer check again..... i think not). Also given PC CD drives of "reasonable" quality NEED to have very good data tolerance.... simply fact is programs will NOT work if data is not there.

    And then for playback it is off ones HardDrive. So none of the CD "transport" issue apply. As the "audio" as put is simply handled as data within the PC it should remain the same (ie if data in a PC is somehow corrupt (ie bad ram) one quickly knows about it with corrupt files etc written to the hard drive.... and a likely PC crash).

    Output using a RME HDSP9632 should see very good results......... + the added bonus of no need to change CD's :)
     
  13. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Hi Spoonfed,
    Chord DAC 64 does exactly that. Reads, buffers, checks, sends. Funnily enough the technology was borrowed from the PC industry.....
    The problem is you still have to get the sountrack off. Most PC cd players are of such poor quality that they rely heavily on error correction from the processor to memory etc. Hence why sound always sounds crap from a PC however good your sound card is. As I have said before Audio streams are more sensitive than Data.
    Rip from Stand alone CD Player to HDD via optical cable may work. LINN have the Kivor system which does basically this but without the interference of a PC.
     
  14. pez

    pez
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    but audio streams ARE data.

    pez
     
  15. Spoonfed

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    Hmmmmmm but if PC CD/DVD drives are so crap how does one ever install a program?

    If data is missing it does not work!

    And this is my point..... if data is not there a PC tries, and tries again.... and if it cannot "get" the data you get an error message.

    This is "sort of" like how Exact Audio Copy works..... checks and checks again.... not checking in a "DAC" sense but checking the actual disc.... i don't think "audiophile" CD players do this.

    Oh also if the drives are really that bad how is it one can copy/burn data CD/DVD's with a very good error rate... again here for software the data does "NEED" to exist... if 1's/0's are missing they don't get "made up" or corrected like in audio.
    Not to mention some high end CD players use Philips and other brands (ie found in PC's) CD drives.

    This is at the "transport" stage pulling off the storage disc....... somewhat different to the Chord DAC 64 you describe which is feed the data AFTER it has been extracted off the disc..... it can't simply "add" data... it has to deal with what it has.
     
  16. pez

    pez
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    and error correction on digital devices has to be perfect or again, you get corruption.

    transport streams are susceptable to drops in quality (listen to a broadcast over the internet and it wont always be in the highest quality setting), but apart from jitter (which SPDIF is susceptable to) you shouldnt get any loss from the internal components of a player/pc, because if you did, nothing would work.

    saying that a low cost cd drive is bad is akin to saying that 3d graphics quality in a game suffers on certain systems because the cd drive misses lots of data. thats not the case. the cd drive reads the data (and everything is data), uses algorithms to correct errors (and it does this perfectly, or else the data becomes unusable), then the data just gets passed around until it finds a graphics processor to process it into what you see. if at any time the data that reaches the graphics card is unusable, youll know about it! :eek:

    same with audio. its all bits until it hits the DAC.

    I see plenty of smoke and mirrors in audio (mainly from the old skool guys who come from a purely analog background, where quality is always lost around systems).

    there are measurement devices out there for monitoring network/transport stream quality, and i think that the Hi Fi mags need to fix the CD and DVD players up to these digitally to see if there is any quantative quality difference between the streams from hi and low cost players.

    i think theyd be suprised.

    not trying to be annoying here, id buy you all a :beer:

    pez
     
  17. Spoonfed

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    good comment on measuring the digital audio stream.

    it is something OFTEN done on better/higher end consumer/prosumer sound cards using.... OH prosumer card as the sampler (high end RME and Lynx cards often used here)
    Yet its pretty rare one gets the myriad of technical measurments that PC source enthusists "test" for in the "audiophile" mag reviews.... yet there is all the talk about "transports" and "jitter" etc

    Have a read of some of the threads http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=59
    Also a example of a test of a cheap soundcard (well VERY cheap relative to audio gear)
    http://www.geocities.com/amol2003/M-Audio_Revolution3.htm

    search on them forums under RMAA (right mark audio analyser)
    http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/search.php?searchid=169236

    It often makes me wonder when some "brands" brag about the DAC's they use etc...... ie Wolfson as an eg is found in a $25USD delivered card.... given an indication of just how cheap the actual chips are :)

    Implementation of these DAC's however makes again a big difference
     
  18. Knightshade

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    Hmmmm....
    Pez, It would work, it would just take longer. A perfectly acceptable occurance when installing data off a CD. Unaceptable with Audio. The DAC can only do so much if it doesn't buffer the sound! I don't see how you can compare a data stream with an audio stream. One is interpreted by a computer and is left in it's binary format the other has to undergo conversion and amplification and finally sound right to an individuals ears. Like I said a bit more to it than 1's and 0's.
    I don't wish to be rude or condescending here but have either of you ever heard a truly high end CD player? I am only curious. If you can get that kind of performance out of a computer CD transport and sound card you'll be very rich men and I will gladly buy you a drink! :)
    Think we may just have to agree to differ on this one. After all it's only opinion. ;)
    No amount of arguing will convince either side! All I can say is go ahead and try it.

    While we're on the subject of PC's and graphics processors. At what point when your playing a game does the program access the CD? Correct me if i'm wrong but doesn't the game get installed onto the hdd for faster access? The only time it looks to the CD is for checks against illegal copies! All the swapping is done between on board video memory, system memory and the hdd because the access times are faster.
    Good luck guys!
     
  19. Spoonfed

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    Kightshade,

    The "highest" end CD player i have heard is a Naim with speparate power supply unit feed to a Conrad Johnston Valve Pre and a Conrad Johnston power Valve amp on some Quad ESL's (Mates setup) and yes........ VERY nice :)

    My point was that upto the DAC the information is DATA and IS 1's and 0's.
    And handled in the same way as data in your game analalogy..... transfered between HD, Ram, CPU etc.... if data is "lost" the game corrupts etc.
    While perhaps the output stages of a topend professional soundcard may well fall short of the highest audio gear on analogue output..... though a good professional level card feeding digital out to an outboard DAC should as good if not better?
    The CD transport issue in audio CD players has been eliminated by precise ripping.
     
  20. Knightshade

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    Spoonfed,
    Yes I agree with what your saying a DAC should sort it out. A good DAC will! As has already been said most DACs in lower end systems aren't great at the job therefore flaws in the transport will show through and Yes, high end sound cards should be the equal to high end audio but they aren't. This is most probably down to circuit design. They are multifunction devices having to produce all round performance. Where you have an all rounder you have compromise.
    With computers more money is invested in the visual side of things. Most PC's these days come with a good graphics accelerator and mediocre sound cards. The systems are geared towards graphics with the sound being an added bonus. Agreed there are some very nice sound cards on the market but not many people are going to try and build a high end hifi out of it. So the attention to detail is not present. Unfortunately there isn't the demand for it.
    I will try it again though. (I tried it a long time ago with a Soundblaster live) Transport will just be bog standard pioneer CDROM. What sound card would you recommend? What price level of CD player are you aiming at?
     
  21. booktrunk

    booktrunk
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    CosmicOne...

    Hiya,

    Your thread seems to have wandered off track a bit!! Have you decided on an amp yet.

    From what you say can hear each speaker etc... see if you can give the new Yammies a go, from what other people say they appear to be quite good.

    I don't know if your current amp has Pro Logic II on it? I would have thought not. If so then this is a huge improvement over PL it really is good. It would be worth upgrading for that alone if you have say a sky box or TV plugged into the system.

    Try a demo in a shop yeah it won't be with your speakers, or in your house etc... but it will give you more of an idea of what you can get from the amp and then decide for yourself.

    The 750 also comes of course with YAPO which is their auto setup thingy, which might or might not be useful :)

    Have fun demoing a few things and then decide :)

    Steff
     
  22. Spoonfed

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    Yeah.... i must also applogies for assisting in this thread hi-jack :)

    but to contradic myself :)

    Knight:

    They guys at http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=59 seem to think that the E-MU 1212M is great performance and sound quality for the $'s.

    The "ultimate" card is RME HDSP9632

    Each i think is $200 and $600 USD respectivley

    Both are pro level cards.... i not aimed at home users but professional users for recording/capture/playback etc with editing/mixing software....... quite possibly some of the music one may have listened to (if perhaps not "mainstream") may have already passed through one or something similar? :)

    EMU 1212M http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp?maincategory=754&category=754&product=2209

    RME HDSP 9632 http://www.rme-audio.com/english/hdsp/hdsp9632.htm
     
  23. Knightshade

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    Thanks Spoonfed,
    I let you know how things pan out. I may be surprised yet!
     
  24. pez

    pez
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    this whole thread is about which component will aid the original poster in getting better sound in movies, which are buffered (when using Dolby Digital and DTS).

    the sound is streamed into a buffer, and is then assembled into pretty large chunks for processing.

    im saying that his DAC in his A/V amp that does this is more important than the dvd player that sends the digital data as its the DAC that does the analog conversion and actually creates the sound.

    as for high end cd players, the pcm is much better off with a high quality transport system because pcm is much more open to jitter than ac3 or equivalent (as pcm is rarely buffered to any great degree - whereas AC3 has to be buffered). no where have i said that a pc will create cd music as good as a high end cd player, because pcs as has been stated dont tend to use great dacs, and pcm streamed data from disks is alot more fickle than ac3.

    if a segment isnt correctly assembled from the buffer within the dac from an ac3 stream, then the dac will reuse the last used segment until the next valid segment comes along.

    are you saying that this happens far more often when using good dacs and bad DVD players as opposed to good dacs and good DVD players?

    debating is good, and its why these forums are here :)

    ive fired off a few emails to dolby, the dts people and a few hardware manufacturers asking them for clarification on the whole transport issue, and if im wrong, as the man said, ill apologise and revise my opinion :suicide:

    ill shutup now! :smoke:

    pez
     
  25. CosmicOne

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    booktrunk;
    yes dude my amp only has DolbyDigital & DolbyProLogic & nothing else.
     

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