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JVC Arsenal KD-AR555

CD receiver

17 Reviews | 2 questions - 3 answers

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Item # 105KDAR555

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Our take on the JVC Arsenal KD-AR555

If mediocre performance is OK with you, stick with your factory stereo. But if you're into music, JVC's Arsenal Series KD-AR555 CD receiver can ramp your car's audio performance up to a much higher level. Its built-in amp generates some pretty serious power, and you'll enjoy some options you may not have now, including a USB port, an auxiliary input, and a 3-band parametric equalizer. And JVC protects this versatile receiver with its 2-year Arsenal warranty.

Step it up

If mediocre performance is OK with you, stick with your factory stereo. But if you're into music, JVC's Arsenal Series KD-AR555 CD receiver can ramp your car's audio performance up to a much higher level. Its built-in amp generates some pretty serious power, and you'll enjoy some options you may not have now, including a USB port, an auxiliary input, and a 3-band parametric equalizer. And JVC protects this versatile receiver with its 2-year Arsenal warranty.

Sound tuning that goes way beyond factory stereos

To tune this receiver's powerful sound, JVC's Pro EQ offers three bands of equalization with adjustable center points so you can really zero in on problem spots in your car's acoustics. Digital Track Expander juices up the sound of compressed music files, and you can add more kick to any source with the loudness switch and bass boost.

JVC Arsenal KD-AR555

Choose from a variety of colors for the KD-AR555's controls.

Bright display, variable color buttons

The bright white text display makes it easy to read song and system info in a variety of lighting conditions. You can choose from an almost unlimited variety of different colors for the buttons and controls, so this JVC will look right at home in your dash.

Want to keep your steering wheel controls?

In most vehicles you can use an adapter (not included) to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this JVC car stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and the JVC, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab for compatible adapters.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • detachable face with variable color button illumination
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs, including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA files
    • music file playback from select Android devices through USB with JVC Music Control app (see Details tab for more information)
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • Digital Track Expander enhances compressed music files
    • Pro EQ 3-band parametric equalizer with twelve preset tone settings
    • loudness and bass boost
    • low-pass and high-pass filters
    • subwoofer level control
    • compatible with JVC Bluetooth adapter (not included)
    • inputs: front USB port (no iPod/iPhone compatibility) and front aux input
    • outputs: 2-channel preamp outputs (2.5-volt rear/subwoofer)
    Other info:

    What's in the Box:

    • CD receiver (w/ 10A fuse inserted into chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Trim ring (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RM-RK52)
    • CR2025 3V Lithium battery (installed)
    • 2 Radio removal tools
    • Face fixing screw
    • Instruction Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warrant Information
    • "Caution!" note (attached to wiring harness)
    • Face Fixing screw note

    Featured Video:

    Love my new stereo it sounds awesome and looks awesome and was easy to install

    tricia, Leesburg fl


    JVC Arsenal KD-AR555 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (17 Reviews)

    Love my new jvc

    tricia from Leesburg fl on 12/7/2014

    2004 Chevrolet Impala
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love my new stereo it sounds awesome and looks awesome and was easy to install

    Pros: Looks clean and sounds clean

    Cons: None

    JVC Aresenal

    SUPaddler from California on 12/3/2014

    1996 Toyota T100
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very happy with this unit. Easy install and wonderful sound quality. Most importantly, outstanding customer service! Crutchfield is my "go to" source for all my automotive audio needs.

    Pros: Easy install and outstanding customer service.

    Cons: None

    Very nice unit.

    Anonymous from North Platte, Ne on 11/28/2014

    1995 Ford F Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very cool with color-fading lights. Excellent reception.

    Pros: Many inputs.

    Cons: USB not so easy to navigate (could be me)

    JVC Arsenal KD-AR555

    Anonymous from anacortes, wa on 11/19/2014

    2001 Pontiac Grand Am
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome stereo. Just about infinite color selection for the display



    Great for price!

    Matt from Virginia on 11/18/2014

    2002 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought this to replace a bad after market head unit for my Jeep Wrangler. Being that the doors are off from May-October I didn't want to spend a fortune on a new one. This unit has tons of features above most basic units, the sound is powerful and deep, and the color buttons are cool. Highly recommend for the price and quality.

    Pros: Sound Power Color Change Price

    Cons: Doesn't recognize my Galaxy So and USB not powerful enough to charge it either. Menu a little "deep".

    Amazing head unit

    Josh from Rexburg, ID on 11/9/2014

    2005 Ford Escape
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am extremely impressed with this stereo. The look is fantastic and the sound quality is wonderful. I particularly love how well it allows me to control the subwoofer in my vehicle. Everything is great! And the price was very good as well.

    Pros: The looks. The sound quality. Led brightness control. Subwoofer control

    Cons: None

    JVC Arsenal KD-AR555

    David M. from Ft. Myers, FL on 11/6/2014

    1989 BMW 325I
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy installation, user-friendly controls,great EQ

    Pros: Bass boost, can add an amp later

    Cons: CD player starts over every time you start the car

    JVC Arsenal KD-AR555

    Anonymous from pennsgrove,nj on 9/25/2014

    2006 Dodge Stratus
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)




    JVC Arsenal Reciever

    Jay from st joseph Michigan on 8/13/2014

    2001 Chrysler 300M
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Replaced my stock head unit with this while on a budget and its great. Sound quality is very clean and it adds a sweet touch of color to my car almost like its a centerpiece. For how cheap is was its far better quality all around than i had expected.

    Pros: Sweet colors, looks nice, solidly built, clear sound, easy to use.

    Cons: None

    JVC Arsenal KD-AR555

    Anonymous from Orange, TX on 8/6/2014

    1999 GMC Sierra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased the JVC Arsenal through Crutchfield for half the price that any of my local audio dealers wanted for the same head unit! Very impressed with the cost and delivery of the products i purchased at Crutchfield! If i need any audio products ever again, it will only be Crutchfield from here on out for me! Thank you guys very much!




    tim from belton,mo. on 7/18/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great radio

    Pros: Easy to use and operate

    Cons: None

    JVC Arsenal KD-AR555 car radio

    GregY from Batavia, IL on 7/17/2014

    1999 Honda Accord
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This radio was easy for me to install, and sounds better than the original radio in my 1999 Honda Accord. I had used the original radio for listening to band rehearsal recordings that I'd make on my Zoom H4 portable digital recorder, by using a dummy cassette tape that I feed off the headphone jack of the H4. The cassette transport on the original radio started ejecting everything (real cassettes as well as the dummy), so I went looking for a replacement. The AR555 has an AUX in so I can connect anything with a headphone jack (including my H4), but what I find really great is that it also has a USB connection, so I can just copy songs to a jump drive memory stick and plug it directly into the radio, and the radio provides the interface for finding and playing songs from the stick. I no longer have a cassette player (which I don't need anymore), and I have now moved all the way up to the 1990's with a CD player. So all in all this radio met and exceeded my requirements and expectations. Plus the eye candy of being able to change the colors of the display is an amusing though ultimately unnecessary feature for me (perhaps there are those who want to color co-ordinate their radio and interior).

    Pros: Good sound, and for my use the USB and AUX inputs are much better than using the dummy cassette approach. It was easy for me to install. I went so far as to solder and heat shrink (instead of crimping) the connections. That was the most intricate part - once I had the harness completed the old radio came out and the new went back in easily in just a few minutes, and fit perfectly. It screwed into the housing of the original radio, so I didn't need the replacement housing I had purchased.

    Cons: You would have to buy a model or so higher to be able to have the radio be in control of your iPhone/iPod, this model doesn't do that, but I didn't need that. I can, of course, play my iPod from its headphone jack connected to the AUX input, and control it (song selection/play/stop) using the iPod itself. It does take charge of an attached USB memory stick, providing song selection and play/pause functionality.

    JVC Arsenal KD-AR555

    Kaitlyn from CT on 7/9/2014

    2001 Toyota Corolla
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good for the price



    nice headunit

    Cory from Milwaukee on 6/10/2014

    1998 Toyota Corolla
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    With the supplied wire harness adapter and wiring diagram it was very easy to install. A quick skim over the manual and all components of the interface were easy to use and understand.

    Pros: The color options make it a fun experience to have in the car. The equalizer has tons of options and with the user settings the sound customization seems endless.

    Cons: It was a little tricky at first to figure out how the custom color option worked but after a bit of tinkering it was easy. I'd say if I would have read the manual more thoroughly it would have been easy from the start. Other than that I haven't owned it long enough to find any real cons

    JVC Arsenal KD-AR555

    celticml from Farmington, NM on 5/20/2014

    1997 Honda Accord LX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Excellent sound, and value. Easy to install. Very satisfied.



    amazing receiver

    JSlave from Indianapolis, IN on 4/18/2014

    2004 Dodge Neon
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I've bought about 7 receivers and JVC and especially this one has been the best. Easy to use, worth the money, just great quality all over! Very recommended.

    Pros: Easy-to-use, color changing has a nice variety, EQ settings are awesome.

    Cons: Really don't have any.

    JVC Arsenal KD-AR555

    Tyler from Carmel NY on 4/10/2014

    Great Stereo for the price




    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    AUX Input Front
    Audio/video Input ---
    USB Input Front
    CarPlay No
    Android Auto No
    Siri Control No
    Android Control Yes
    Memory Card Slot USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible Optional
    Satellite Radio Ready No
    HD Radio No
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size N/A
    Nano N/A
    Touch N/A
    iPhone N/A
    RMS Power (CTA-2006) N/A
    RMS Power (Manufacturer) ---
    Peak Output 50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs 2-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs No
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs Yes
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 2.5 volts
    Display Color White
    Key Button Color Variable
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Adapter required
    Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Labor Warranty 2 Years
    FM Sensitivity 8.2 dBf
    European Tuning Yes
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System Yes

    Product Research

    Disc & USB Playback
    Android/Aux Integration
    Audio & Tuner Section
    Display Features
    Remote-Bluetooth Control

    Disc & USB Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs. The unit also supports playback of MP3/WMA music files loaded onto CD-R/RW discs.

    Front-Panel USB Port: The JVC Arsenal KD-AR555 features a front-panel USB 2.0 type-A port (behind a sliding cover) connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device; such as select Android smartphones (Froyo/Gingerbread OS only), portable digital audio players, or USB thumbdrives. The USB port enables audio playback and control of MP3, WMA, & WAV audio files stored on portable USB mass-storage class devices. USB portable audio devices that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB port (5V/1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.

    Note: This unit's USB port does not support direct connection of an Apple iPod, iPhone, or iPad.

    MP3/WMA/WAV Playback: The JVC Arsenal KD-AR555 supports the following types of MP3, WMA, WAV files recorded onto CD-R/RW disc or loaded onto a USB mass storage class device.

    Media Type CD-R/RW USB MCS Device
    File System ISO9660 Level 1 or 2, Romeo, Joliet, or Windows long file name FAT 12/16/32
    Playable File Types

     MP3: bit rate of 8-320kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48kHz
    bit rate of 32-192kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48kHz
    WAV (USB only): bit rate of 8- or 16-bit

    Maximum # of Folders/Files 999 folders/20,480 files
    Tags ID3 tag (version 1.0/1.1/2.2/2.3/2.4), WMA tag

    Track/Folder List: The Track/Folder List displays a list of MP3/WMA/WAV folders and tracks on a loaded CD or USB device, so you can easily access your music.

    Random/Repeat Modes: The JVC Arsenal KD-AR555 offers the following Repeat and Random playback modes.

    • Repeat: Track Repeat (plays the current track repeatedly), Folder Repeat (plays all tracks of the current folder repeatedly), Off (cancels repeat function)
    • Random: Folder Random (plays all tracks of the current folder, then the tracks of the next folder in random), All Random (plays all tracks of the current disc at random), Off (cancels random function)

    Resume: If you change the source, playback also stops (without ejecting the disc or USB device). Next time you select CD or USB for the playback source, the player will start from where it has been stopped previously.

    JVC Playlist Creator Compatible: JVC Playlist Creator is a free Windows-based desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer MP3/WMA music files to your USB (MSC) device from your PC. When you playback audio files that have been stored on your USB (MSC) device using JVC Playlist Creator through the KD-AR555, you can search a file by song title, album name, artist name, or genre using the head unit's Quick Search function. The JVC Playlist Creator is a Windows-based software that can be downloaded for free from JVC's website to your PC. The JVC Playlist Creator is compatible with the following Windows Microsoft Operating Systems.

    • Windows XP Professional, Home Edition SP2 or later (32-bit)
    • Windows Vista (32/64-bit)
    • Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
    Note: Not compatible with Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Zune, or Android

    Off Insert/Eject + Disc Protection: A CD disc can be inserted or ejected with the power off. When a disc is inserted with the power off, the unit will automatically power up and begin playback. If the ejected disc is not removed within 15 seconds, the disc is automatically inserted again into the loading slot to protect it from dust. The source will change to CD, and the disc will begin playback, even if you have another source selected at the time.

    Mounting: For proper disc playback you must install the unit within 30-degrees of horizontal.

    Android/Aux Integration

    Android Compatible: The JVC Arsenal KD-AR555 supports USB-connection and playback of Android smartphones with Froyo or Gingerbread operating systems installed.

    • JVC Music Control: By connecting the JVC CD receiver via USB to an Android smartphone (Froyo/Gingerbread OS only) that has the free JVC Music Control app installed, it allows you to list and search your MP3 music stored on the smartphone from the receiver by artist name or album name. The JVC Music Control app also analyzes all of your songs that are in your Android smartphone, and creates a playlist according to your mood. Once the application has completed the analysis of the songs, simply select your current mood, and this application will generate a list of songs that best fits your mood. Your compatible Android smartphone must be recognized as a USB mass storage class device; not compatible with MTP protocol.
    • Drive Change Mode: When an Android smartphone (Froyo/Gingerbread OS only) is connected to the USB input terminal, you can select its internal memory or external memory (such as an microSD card) to playback the songs stored on the phone or on the memory card. This feature is also compatible with other USB mass storage class compliant smartphones, such as Blackberry.
    Note: The Drive Change feature also lets you switch between multiple memory cards (up to 5) in a USB multi-card reader or multiple USB thumbdrives (up to 5) connected to a USB hub.

    Front-Panel Auxiliary Input: A front-panel stereo minijack is provided to allow the connection of almost any portable audio source with a 3.5mm headphone output (great for those non-Apple/Android devices. Simply connect your portable digital music player to the unit's front-panel auxiliary input, and you can listen to the audio from the portable player through the speakers in your mobile audio system. The unit's front-panel auxiliary input can be turned On or Off.

    Audio & Tuner Section

    16 Bit D/A Converter: The JVC Arsenal KD-AR555 utilizes a 16-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The JVC KD-AR555 is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power output specs for the KD-AR555 are as follows:

    • Full Bandwidth Power: 22 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20-20kHz, 1% THD)
    • Maximum Output Power: 50 watts x 4 channels (200 total watts)
    Note: When you are using the KD-AR555 with factory speakers (or those rated to less than 50 watts peak), the Amplifier Gain Control can limit the amount of power being sent to those speakers. When the Amp Gain Control is set to "low," the volume control ranges from 0 (minimum) to 30 (maximum). When using speakers rated higher than 50 watts peak, you can set the Amp Gain Control to "high," and the volume control will range from 0 to 50.

    Switchable 2ch/2.5V Preamp Outputs: The KD-AR555 is equipped with one pair of 2.5V preamp outputs. You can set the Rear/SW preamp outputs for connecting rear speakers (through an external amplifier) or for connecting a subwoofer (through an external amplifier). When set for rear speakers, the rear outputs operate with the unit's fader control. When set for subwoofer, the outputs are non-fading.

    Subwoofer Controls: When the unit's Rear/SW preamp output is set to Subwoofer, you can set the cutoff frequency of the low-pass filter at 55Hz, 85Hz, or 120Hz. You can also adjust the head unit's subwoofer level between -8 and +8 (separate from the main volume level).

    Pro EQ: The KD-AR555 is equipped with JVC's Pro EQ. The integrated equalizer offers 12 preset sound modes (Flat, Hard Rock, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Talk, vocal Boost, Bass Boost, Classical, Dance, User 1, or User 2) suitable for the music genre of your choice. The User modes allow you to manually adjust the head unit's 3-band parametric EQ (Frequency, Level, and Q-Factor).

    Pro EQ
    Frequency Level Q
    Bass 60, 80, 100, 200 Hz +/- 12 dB (-6 to +6) 1.0, 1.25, 1.5, 2.0
    Midrange 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.5 kHz +/- 12 dB (-6 to +6) 0.75, 1.0, 1.25
    Treble 10.0, 12.5, 15.0, 17.5 kHz +/- 12 dB (-6 to +6) Fixed
    Note: You can store Pro EQ bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source (CD, Tuner, Aux, and USB).

    Sound Enhancements: The head unit provides further sound enhancements for your car audio system.

    • Digital Track Expander: The digital Track Expander utomatically enhances compressed music files and restores the original richness of the recording.
    • Bass Boost: The unit's Bass Boost enhances low bass frequencies.
    • Loud (Loudness): This feature boosts low and high frequencies to produce a well-balanced sound at a low volume level. You can set this feature to High, Low, or Off.
    • Volume Adjust: The input level of each source (other than FM) is adjustable relative to the FM radio volume, so there isn't a significant volume difference when changing sources. Each source is individually adjustable from -5 to +5.

    Key Beep: The in-dash head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.

    RDS AM/FM Tuner: The JVC Arsenal KD-AR555 features a built-in RDS AM/FM tuner with manual, seek, and preset tuning. The Radio Data System (RDS) feature displays radio broadcast information such as artist, title, and album when listening to compatible AM/FM stations. You can store a total of 18 FM stations presets and 6 AM station presets (manually or automatically).  The head unit's Radio Timer features lets you tune into a preset station at a specific time regardless of the head unit's current source (you can activate the Radio Timer once, daily, or turn it completely off). If an analog FM stereo broadcast is hard to receive, you can manually switch the tuner to Mono operation. You can also switch the tuner's IF filter to Wide or Auto to increase/decrease the sensitivity.

    Note: You can set the built-in AM/FM tuner between US standard and European tuning spacing.

    Display Features

    Detachable Face: The JVC Arsenal KD-AR555 features a detachable face to deter theft. No face-case is provided. An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can be purchased for this unit. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

    Single-Line LCD: The head unit features a 11-segment, one-line LCD with white back-lit text, plus adjustable brightness and dimmer settings.

    • Brightness: The unit offers a daytime and nighttime brightness settings for the LCD and button illumination. You can adjust the brightness level of each manually from 0-31.
    • Dimmer: The unit's dimmer control can be set automatically or manually; select "Off" for daytime brightness setting, "On" for nighttime brightness setting, or "Auto" which switches between day and nighttime brightness setting automatically when you turn off/on the headlights (orange/white wire of harness must be connected to headlamp circuit).

    Variable Button Illumination: The JVC KD-AR555 features variable button illumination, so you can better match your vehicle's interior lightning. You can choose one of 29 color presets or select the ColorFlow mode which scrolls through all 29 color presets. Additionally, there is a User preset, allowing you to individually adjust the intensity of Red, Green, and Blue from 0 to 31; resulting in approximately 30,000 custom color options. You can also select a different color for daytime and nighttime in regards to the unit's button illumination.

    Day & Time: The unit displays a 12-or 24-hour clock, as well as the day (Sun/Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri/Sat). The day & time can be selected to remain on, even if the head unit is switched off (as long as the vehicle's key is in the accessory or start position).

    Demo Mode: This unit features a Demo mode which can be turned On or Off within the menu.

    Remote-Bluetooth Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The KD-AR555 comes supplied with a wireless remote control (RM-RK52). The remote contains Attenuator, Sound, Source, Tracking, and Volume functions. The remote operates off of a single CR2025 3V Lithium-cell battery (included).

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The head unit features an OEM steering wheel remote control input wire (blue/yellow) within the included wiring harness that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with an optional steering wheel audio control adapter (sold separately). Please consult Crutchfield's Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.

    Optional Bluetooth: The JVC KS-BTA100 Bluetooth Adapter (105KSBTA10, sold separately) provides Bluetooth hands-free communication and digital audio streaming functions for the JVC Arsenal KD-AR555. The JVC KS-BTA100 gives you hands-free communication from your compatible Bluetooth mobile phone and wireless streaming audio from a Bluetooth enabled digital audio player, when connected to the JVC in-dash head unit. The JVC Bluetooth Adapter includes a super-sensitive microphone, an Answer/End button, and playback controls. The JVC Arsenal KD-AR555 can be set to automatically mute any music audio to your vehicle's speakers so you can listen to your telephone call using your car speakers.

    Note: Not all Bluetooth devices will be compatible. Visit the JVC Mobile Entertainment Bluetooth Support Page for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled devices.

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    2 questions already asked

    For details on fit or installation please contact an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to pull up your vehicle and give you the details on if this will fit and what you will need for an installation in your vehicle. [ Krissy  Jul 25, 2014 ]  Staff
    i dont believe it does :( [ ROBERT J  Mar 31, 2014 ]
    Yes, and it controls pandora or I heart radio from your smart phone via USB. [ CYNTHIA  Mar 31, 2014 ]