JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Sun May 19, 2019 12:52 pm

supersonicjazzmaster wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 4:35 am
I compared the thickness of the two bodies of my sonic blue 1997 and the 2002 fiesta red Jagstang.
The 1997 body is a bit thinner.
Image

Image
Thanks a lot for providing your measurements, supersonicjazzmaster.

It seems to me that even the body thickness is giving me troubles.

Courtesy of fellow member HNB (Thanks again, Chris... you're awesome!) who sent me several pics of his fiesta red js with a ruler in the cavities and this one next to the body:
Image

As stated several time in the thread, the very crucial value I needed is the body roundover radius, but having all the others specs would be ideal if we want the highest accuracy.

This is a recap of what I've collected so far based on HNB's pics:

Body thickness: 44mm ish (with fiesta red finish)
Body roundover: Chris measures 1/4" (6.5mm)
Neck pocket depth: it looks like 14mm (not sure I'm reading correctly)
Neck pu depth: 16mm ish
Bridge pu depth: 16mm ish
Switch depth: 30mm ish
Controls depth: 30mm ish

I sent him my readings to double check and avoid any error on my part and he confirmed that they are about right.
His measurement of the body roundover is pretty much compatible, so we're Twice as GOLDEN if somebody else can confirm this value.

Now, speaking about the body thickness:
The prototype has always been described as thick as a telecaster, so keeping that in mind and doing the job already described I've clocked the thickness at 44mm.

Jag-stang.com body thickness reference:
https://www.jag-stang.com/forum/topic/5 ... ment=88817
robert(original): "thickness with paint is approx 44mms, without paint probly 40 mms."

Warmoth Jag-stang thickness reference:
1-3/4" Thick Solid Construction
Thickness is 1-3/4" or, for my metric-oriented brain: 44.45 mm

supersonicjazzmaster 1997 sonic blue js is 1.316" or 33.43mm;
supersonicjazzmaster 2002 fiesta red js is 1.335" or 33.90mm.
Being these measurements out of a digital calliper clear readings I have no reason to doubt and it puzzles me quite much to think that they are actually that thin. Or shall we even consider that they might have been built with two different thickness specs?

Re_ the colour of your sonic blue.
Yes, your considerations are correct about the colour differences throughout the body and that's why I've asked for the scan to be taken from an unfaded area, aka: under the pickguard or under the control plate.
The same colour can shift from a hue to another just by the presence -or lack thereof- of the clear coat, natural/artificial fading, undercoat colour and god knows what else. No surprise here, my friend. :)
What's more surprising is the hack job they did under the pickguard?!?! WTF?! I can't even imagine what the purpose could have been... a tiny killswitch perhaps? :fp: Maybe the previos owner accidentaly engaged it and has been killed by the guitar itself as a sign of mutual appreciation for the crude surgery :D
supersonicjazzmaster wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 4:49 am
Anyway, I need more time to search for a professional color analysis. I am not in town the next week. After this week I will find some time for more research. :)
Man, seriously... don't worry, take all the time you need, you have already been more than helpful. Thank you loads. :)

I'm officially calling the Jagstang owners: if you have a digital calliper and want to shout out your measurements of yer guitar: please chime in :)


P.S.:
It might not be the main object of this thread but I could not pass over your sonic blue pickup configuration... Damn, if you think about it, yours is more coherent to the concept of being a mix of jaguar and mustang than the fiesta red that has no jaguar nor mustang pickup by design :ph34r:

EDIT:
I couldn't wrap my head around the thickness of your jagstang (sorry guys my brain works in metrics and sometimes I get lost during conversions) and I've noticed that the digital display is way over the 40mm notch of the metal ruler... so, unless I'm really that useless with inches and fractions convertions, could it be that the calliper has been zeroed at some point before the actual reading on the bodies? Maybe you had it set up to metrics and switched to inches before the reading and accidentaly zeroed the display. Don't know... I'm probalby wrong so, please disregard this bit if it's the case.

EDIT 2:
Yup, it's definitely just a simple harmless accident. :) :-*
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by supersonicjazzmaster » Mon May 20, 2019 9:20 am

Ah, you are right, I have to Check this! ...when i am back home.. 👍🏼
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by threewordname » Mon May 20, 2019 5:52 pm

Slightly off topic, but has anyone ever built a jagstang with the weird pointy headstock from the drawing?

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Tue May 21, 2019 10:50 am

threewordname wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:52 pm
Slightly off topic, but has anyone ever built a jagstang with the weird pointy headstock from the drawing?
It's not something I ever experimented with. I know he seemed to abandon that pretty early for the Ferrington.

I know that at one time, Gibson approached Kurt about an endorsement deal, but Kurt couldn't find a Gibson that he really liked. I sort of imagine that detail of the design was made around that time. If he had gone with Gibson and had the Ferrington built, I imagine he was aiming for something a little more Gibson like. Since that fell through, he went back to the Fender headstock, although, you can see a few sketches where the headstock is still angled.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Sun May 26, 2019 11:46 am

I'm officially back from my family emergency. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much for new discoveries.

The biggest piece of news I can give you is that I did manage to indirectly get some questions to Peter Buck through one of his band mates he is currently on tour with. There is absolutely no promise that he will answer any of these questions, but being on tour currently, we may not get a response until June. And that is if we get a response at all.

On a somewhat more positive note, I was able to determine the paint used on the prototype is from Sherwin Williams, which does eliminate a ton of other paint brands. Having said that, it doesn't really get us any closer to the actual finish. All we know for sure is that it is one of their colors.

I have been looking into his JB pickup quite a bit after reading the article I pointed out previously from Guitar World magazine. Jim Vincent claims to remember that Earnie had to do some routing to the Jagstang in order to fit the JB. You may think it is odd routing out a humbucker equipped guitar for a humbucker, however, in 1994, the JB could have had short mounting legs (most common today) or long legs.

Upon a closer inspection of Kurt's Mustangs, Oranjstang received a standard short leg humbucker that was mounted via pickguard. However, Skystangs 2 & 3, the two Mustangs we assume shipped to Kurt with the Jagstang prototype, received long leg humbuckers. The guitars were routed until the baseplate was flush with the body and the pickup was then screwed down to the wood.

I still have yet to be able to prove whether the Jagstang got this treatment or not. Two things are possible. Either Jim Vincent is correct or Jim Vincent witnessed the routing of the Mustangs. Being that Jim became Kurt's tech around the same time though, I would think that Jim would have known Kurt's gear pretty well, even in that 4 months before his death. This is something I asked Peter about.

I am also trying to track down photographers who photographed Nirvana during the European tour in 1994. This is in hopes of finding a nice clear photograph of the Jagstang that is hopefully in color. Odds of this are probably astronomical.

That is all I got for now.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:27 am

Bump.

Anyone willing to bring his/her 1st run blue Jagstang to the paint store for a colour scan and be our champion to help us nail this last bit of the puzzle?
Please guys, help us if you can.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Noirie. » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:48 pm

This thread been a good read.

I just wondered if anyone knew more about his Sunburst Strat used at Reading 1992?

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:32 pm

Noirie. wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:48 pm
This thread been a good read.

I just wondered if anyone knew more about his Sunburst Strat used at Reading 1992?
I don't know too much about the sunburst strat. I saw it in person about 12 years ago now. As I remember it, it had a bunch of stuff written all over the pickguard. Only thing I remember of the writing off the top of my head was "1/2 Naked Krist".

According to Earnie, it was slapped together with parts from Stew Mac. The neck on it had some figure to it and the decal was installed by Earnie. The pickguard and bridge were spare parts from his others. Had a hot rail in the bridge. Likely had fender single coils in it, but can't say for certain. I'd also assume that the pots were probably changed to 500k. Sorry I can't be of more help.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by supersonicjazzmaster » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:14 am

Colour scan. Yes. :)
Alright, after asking at several paint stores for this, today I´ve found one who made a colour scan of my 1997 Jagstang.
The scan is from the area between the pickups, where you can see my finger.
The colour under the pickguard is sliiiiightly different to the rest of the body over the years.


Image


The scan is made with a small special computer scan machine.


You can read "sonic blue" there. So, the guy asked me how we should call the colour? I said "sonic blue".
We can see the components of the colour here in prportion to the weight:

Image

It seems that Citroen and Peugeot use such a colour today for cars.

I asked the guy for HEX, RGB, CMYK colour codes, but he looked irritated after this question and gave me this paper with the components.

I hope this helps a bit?
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:14 pm

Awesome, mate! Great job!

Don't worry about the hex code..... as we discussed behind the scenes, knowing that the colour is used for the Citroen C1 Pacific Green, I managed to track down said "pacific green" id, which is down here, below the car:
Image
Image

said colour matches "Citroen, Peugeot, KJS" and labelled "Sonic blue", is definitely not the same shade we have later on the Jagstang 2nd run and to every Mustang 69 RI that came later even thou they're both labelled as "Sonic Blue". Two shades, 1 common name.

This pacific green sonic blue is what we described earlier as "aqua blue/green".
I went on with the research using the hex colour itself and then made a chart with all the other colours we're dealing with in order to track down the right shade of the prototype which was actually finished in the USA.
Image

HUGE THANKS to fellow supersonicjazzmaster for his great contribution, much appreciated it, mate :)

The research continues, always closer...
Last edited by Amon 7.L on Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by supersonicjazzmaster » Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:56 am

Is this video already known?
REM in 1995, the bass player Mike is playing Kurts blue Jagstang:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYpShsDXmTY

at 1:00min the guitar can be watched a bit closer.

and this here, also 1995. But camera is too far away...:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw_9CmUAbE4
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by lhwarp » Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:48 am

Nice job @Amon 7.L !
Nice color and release... 8) 8) 8)
And it's a Lefty one ! ;)

-lhwarp

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:16 am

supersonicjazzmaster wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:56 am
Is this video already known?
REM in 1995, the bass player Mike is playing Kurts blue Jagstang:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYpShsDXmTY

at 1:00min the guitar can be watched a bit closer.

and this here, also 1995. But camera is too far away...:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw_9CmUAbE4
Yes, I've watched those videos as well looking for inputs of any sorts but due to the crazy stage lights and the lack of close-ups I couldn't use it for reference.
Yet it's a great tune worth listening to.
lhwarp wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:48 am
Nice job @Amon 7.L !
Nice color and release... 8) 8) 8)
And it's a Lefty one ! ;)

-lhwarp
Thanks lhwarp. Much appreciate it.
Oh yeah, it's indeed a Lefty and a very peculiar one to say the least :D

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:40 pm

Well, it has been nearly 2 months since I have posted here, but I can assure you that I have been busy and chatting with Amon behind the scenes. A lot has happened in 2 months, so expect this one to be a long one.

Well, so much has happened that I don't know where to start so I guess starting anywhere is the appropriate choice. As you all know, there was an interview with Larry Brooks who claimed the guitar was sonic blue, while master builder Jason Smith remembered it as daphne blue. In a desperate attempt to get a confirmation one way or the other, I attempted to reach out to the Fender Custom Shop as well as builders who worked there in 1993. Previously, my research indicated that Larry Brooks was deceased. I would personally like to retract that and inform you that Larry Brooks is very much alive. I will touch on that later.

Image

Jason Smith informed me that the custom shop had no records of their instruments from that time and I was highly disappointed by that revelation. I didn't accept it at first. On four separate occassions, I reached out to the custom shop and I received four different answers. Two of which were wrong, one that directed me toward some books and one that flat out told the truth: we do not have records from that time. Just as I was prepared to accept that the records were lost, I came across the first two work logs from the custom shop in 1987. They provided serial numbers, description and color, comments, the customer, who signed off on the body, neck, assembly and set up, as well as dates started and ended. There are a couple initials that I wasn't able to decipher, but JP is John Page and MS is Michael Stevens.

Image
Image

At this point, I knew records existed, but I had hit a dead end. So I began trying to track down old master builders. Some responded, some did not, none of them had the answer I was seeking. I reached out to Gene Baker, who had just started working at Fender just weeks before the Jagstang project began. He pointed me in the direction of Larry Brooks, which is how I found out he is alive. Having said that, Larry is very difficult to reach out to. While Gene couldn't really confirm the color of the Jagstang, he did present me with some insight at the time. I brought up Jason Smith and Gene did confirm that Jason was working in the shop at the time, just not as a masterbuilder, so we were able to take Jason as a credible witness. When I brought up little things like the the neck pickup having a right handed stagger, Gene disclosed that there were times the shop was so overwhelmed that he custom shop may take pickups from the MIA line or a standard body or neck where nobody would notice. He even disclosed a few artists, but I'm not going to create a shit storm, so I will keep their identities safe. But Gene was always straight with me, the good, the bad and the ugly. I provided him with details we uncovered about the clear coat and Gene was able to determine that it was definitely polyurethane. I then mentioned Fender's lost records and I got an answer. Gene had this to say:

"They used a FileMaker data base for master builders that was rather off the company network, just shared on a floppy between John Grunder and Mark Duncan in sales and one machine in a front office that master builders used. But I don't think artist relations used the master builders database. Everything was pretty low technical in computer networking at the time since the internet was barely getting started. Ralph Esposito would have been the guy that would have kept that file if it's still there but he also passed away about a year ago after cancer complications. Not sure who would have carried the torch after him. Both Cruz and Jason Smith were only tune testers in the shop at the time and all other master builders from that era are gone from their employment, although Mark Kendrick did return and was part of artist relations too but I don't think he's working in Corona as a builder, I think he's more global quality control these days. But Mark worked close with Larry, as well as Alex Perez."

The record are lost because they are on an old floppy disk. Ugh!

I reached out to John Page who was also very difficult to reach, but he offered to help if he could. He directed me to Larry first. I did reach out to Larry and I waited and I waited and I waited.

So while I waited, I studied paint and clear coat. I was able to determine that at the time, Sherwin Williams was their paint supplier. I did also manage to get my hands on a set of old paint card and managed to find the old sherwin williams sonic blue. I say old because SW discontinued the color and created a metallic color for Ford that is called Sonic Blue. Luckily, between having a professional painter in the family and an extremely knowledgeable SW rep, I did manage to get my hands on the original specs for that color and provided the info to Amon behind the scenes.

Interestingly enough, while researching paint, I came across Fenders clear coat supplier: Cardinal. For nitro finishes, Fender uses the Cardinal 2000 series as it is fast drying. Having confirmation that the Jagstang was clear coated within a day, day and a half, it would require their polyurethane to be extremely fast drying. Fenders poly clear coat is Cardinal Luthierthane 6779-CLE19661. It is high gloss and fast cure. Dry times via air dry at 78 degrees F are as follows:

Tack Free: 10 Minutes
Dry to Handle: 30 minutes
Dry Hard: 24 hours

It is the perfect candidate and fits our timeline. It is also specifically made for musical instruments. Cardinal was founded in 1952 and while I can't determine if Leo ever used them, I do know that FMIC did from inception.

By this time, I still hadn't heard from Larry, so I asked his former colleague to reach out for me because Larry's social media is locked down tight. In a nutshell, because this is starting to drag on, Larry claims to have used sonic blue (old SW sonic blue) but darkened it to get it closer to the old daphne blue mustangs. He believed it was darkened by 20% (which makes sense because SW will saturate colors in 25% incriments).

It explains why the jagstang looks so different. We collectively determined that the old sw sonic blue actually closely resembles the mij daphne blue. Interestingly, saturating the old sw sonic blue actually turns the finish almost identically into the Duco Daphne Blue used by general motors. Larry, essentially aged a non nitro finish to closely match a nitro finish. Then, of course, it got a little bit darker once the clear was applied. I will let Amon showcase this as he is better equipped to do so. If you want accurate, then you want #88CEED. While a sonic blue was used as a custom base, the final product came out a daphne blue.

In my final analysis, the Jagstang arrived from Fender as follows:

Alder body, 1/4" roundover radius, 1.75" thick
24" scale
Mustang hardware from Japan.
1 ply pickguard, 8 hole
DiMarzo H8 (bridge), right handed Texas Special (neck)
Wired like a standard Mustang
250k pots, .047 capacitor
Maple neck, rosewood fretboard, pearloid dots
.82 at first fret, .91 at the 12th
CBS headstock
Gotoh vintage style tuners
7.25" radius fretboard
6230 fret wire
1.5625" nut width
Neck pocket 5/8" deep, 3" long, 2 3/16" wide
Pickup depths are vintage spec 5/8"
Control cavity about 1.25"
Switch depth about 1.25"
Custom daphne blue finish,
High poly gloss body and neck
Fender spaghetti logo on headstock.
Blank neck plate, no serial. Larry stamped every guitar he built numerically in the neck pocket. Number is unknown.

Mods made after received:

Wiring changes. Humbucker is on in both positions. Neck functions as normal.
Schaller strap locks
SH-4 Seymour Duncan JB*
Tremolo blocked, tail piece flipped
Gotoh ABR-1 bridge installed
Mustang switches chopped down to just above the pickguard.
Control plate drilled to accommodate 500k CTS pots. Capacitor remains the same.

I put this little * next to the JB because there is a possibility that the JB had long legs. Jim Vincent recalls the jagstang getting routed for the JB. The two mustangs that were delivered to Kurt at the same time as the Jagstang both received long leg JB models that were mounted directly to wood. It is quite possible that the Jagstang received this same treatment, however, I have been unable to confirm aside from Jim Vincent's, Kurt's guitar tech on the final leg, word for it.

Thanks for sticking around through this novel. Believe me when I tell you that I shortened it the best I could. Hope that it peaks your curiosity and makes the wait worth it.

Jagstang mystery solved.

Also, the red prototyp, for those that are curious, had a different body shape, 3 ply white pearl pickguard with 10 mounting holes and a dimarzio h3. Otherwise, wiring was the same, hardware was the same, etc.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:20 am

As AcrylicSuperman wonderfully wrapped up what has happened behind the scenes, there has been a lot of work to track down this piece of the puzzle.
After he tracked down all the base elements to walk our way to the final shade, and -seriously- after a huge amount of research and tests between the two of us, a couple of days ago I was doing some research and this is the outcome I've reported to AcrylicSuperman and that I'm now sharing with you.
He passed me the testimony for this topic, so here's steps I've walked through.

I've fired up Photoshop and inserted the earlier Sherwin Williams Sonic Blue (Hex code #c0dfef) on the colour picker and then added another 20% amount of Ciano to the CMYK values (value from 23 to 43) and this is the outcome, there's two rectangles on top of each other with the current one and the new saturated colours:
Image

Then I went on comparing it to the online pic of the Japanese Daphne MG 65 RI just for reference (we know we can't trust online pics but this one is rather in the ballpark):
Image

Then I pasted the HEX of the darker SW on google search bar to see if there's already a label that matches its shade, there's none.............BUT!
Yes, big capital "BUT", it gave me this big squared sample (same one as Photoshop) right upfront on the screen...
Image

and, d'you know what, my friend(s)?
It is E X A C T L Y (I don't mean close or thereabout nor anything else, I mean a 1:1 match) the colour of my Jagstang done right, which is Daphne. Naked eye, plain daylight with no interferences.

Here's the Jagstang next to the (nowadays) Sonic Blue CIJ Mustang 69RI LH.
Of course the lighting doesn't grasp what naked eyes see but, look at the #88ceed sample and consider that in person the Jagstang is E X A C T L Y the same colour.
Image

I'm speechless, seriously.

To recap:
1) Larry used Sherwin Williams earlier Sonic Blue as a base. (check);
2) He claimed he darkened it by 20%. (check. it's our #88ceed);
3) We settle on the colour being something in between Sherwin Williams and General Motors versions of sonic blue. (check, we've got it);

4) Before this test, AcrylicSuperman's correctly felt like if that colour was saturated about 20% (as stated by Larry himself), it would borderline look like a clean vintage mustang and would explain how Jason could mistake it for Daphne". (check. it looks just like my Jagstang which is finished in a proper vintage Daphne shade, hence it looks just like a clean vintage Mustang.)

One extremely important thing that I reckon is infinitely crucial and justifies the mismatch between the hex code of the vintage Daphne and this 20% darker SW (which matches my Vintage Daphne) is that my Jagstang doesn't have a clear coat on top of the finish as I've just sprayed like 9 coats (each one being of 3 passes) of colour, then sanded, buffed, polished.
it's all nitrocellulose without the yellowing that usually occurs on the vintage clear coated Mustangs. Also, whilst vintage Mustangs had a white basecoat, mine has a grey one (that once sanded looked just like some example of sonic blue, GM sonic blue, ironically).
We can wrap up my Jagstang being a sort of "custom" variation of Daphne if we consider the different basecoats and the presence/lack of clear coats, which in turn means an ever so slightly different outcome even though both remaining within the bound of a righteous vintage Daphne.
Here's my Jagstang with the grey primer (polished) and after being finished in the proper vintage nitro Daphne.
Mind you, this pic is a rather close representation of the actual colour and you can see how close is to the darker SW I'm comparing it to (yet, I reiterate, in person it's just like the sample):
Image

Furthermore, we know that even the number of clear coats and the level of polishing can change the final grade of the base shade.

Last but not least:

5) Earlier on AcrylicSuperman spoke to Krist Novoselic who recalled the Jagstang being a Cadillac colour... so, I'm adding this to the mix, tell me it's not just like the Jagstang :w00t: :
Image

This was the last exchange me and AcrylicSuperman had about it and that in our opinion clocks the Jagstang prototype's custom colour in the very proximity of the vintage Duco Daphne Blue.

This is all we have and shared with you. Full circle.

Thank you.
Last edited by Amon 7.L on Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:28 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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