A novel read head includes a substrate having a trailing face and a leading face opposite the trailing face. The substrate includes a first hole therethrough that extends continuously from the trailing face to the leading face. The read head also includes a read transducer disposed on the trailing face, and a first plurality of electrically conductive trailing connection pads disposed on the trailing face. A first insulative layer is disposed on an inner surface of the first hole. A first electrically conductive filler is disposed in the first hole but is insulated from the substrate by the first insulative layer. A first electrically conductive leading connection pad is disposed on the leading face and is electrically connected to the first conductive filler.
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