Ask OPRA – Tell us what you REALLY think OPRA
We here at the OPRA Opine Omnibus Org pride ourselves in knowing stuff and talking about it. Whether you like it or not. Well, not necessarily knowing as much as suspecting. And not necessarily suspecting as much as taking a wild shot in the dark. One can’t help but wonder what OPRA will say next – most of all OPRA himself. As a great little green thing once said, "You must unlearn what you have learned." OPRA has done that. He’s just not quite sure what the next step is. Alright then, off to the questions!
OPRA’s must have discs.
I’m often asked: What are my "must have" DVD’s? Well, there are a lot of reasons to consider a DVD a "must have". Some show off your speakers, some show off your sub, some show off your display, and some are just plain good. I’ve compiled a short list of the discs I wouldn’t leave behind if my mom’s house burned down.
- From Justin to Kelly – Hey, if Baz Lurman can make a musical, anyone can, right? Good for evaluating uncompressed audio and moiré (Justin’s hair).
- Troll 2 –One of the best movies ever – SEE IT NOW! Don’t believe me? Watch this (it’s long and a little creepy but the end is TOTALLY worth it). Great for surround sound and sub tests. That mono track just roxors!
- House of the Dead – Pure good writing and "special" effects – it is like the Matrix except with a fraction of the budget and actors that make Keanu look positively Shakespearean.
- Gymkata – Gymnastics + Karate = Awesomeness. Lots of midbass boots to the head
- Last Action Hero – Explosions, whiny kids, garbled dialog, a bad guy with a removable eye… Proof positive that all you need is a big name actor to have a blockbuster. Non-stop action in this one!
- Titanic – If the famous Canuck singing the song that just won’t get out of your head (no matter how you try to dig it out with an ice pick) isn’t enough, we’ve got a love story of epic proportions because the most famous sinking of the largest luxury liner of its day just wasn’t spectacular enough. And they gave Cameron an Oscar for this? Not Aliens? T2? Where’s the love?
- Mortal Kombat: Annihilation – Is it the fighting, the dialog, the acting that keeps me coming back? No. It’s the badass CGI at the end. Totally worth the price of admission. If it looks like it was recycled from old Xena episodes – it’s your display. Immediately throw it away and buy a new one. Preferably smaller… MUCH smaller.
- Dungeons & Dragons – Let your inner geek out! Join the ranks of people that will buy a movie no matter how bad just to support their favorite game system. This ensures that more movies just like it are made, except with lower budgets and less qualified actors (as studios realize the truth of the previous statement). As a side note, aren’t elves supposed to be hot?
- Battlefield Earth – Aliens, humans, fighting, huge foreheads, nose jewelry the likes of which the world has never SEEN, new religions… what more could you want? Plus we learn just how important math is! It’s got something for everyone… with a lobotomy. But Forest Whitaker is in it (the biggest samurai EVER!) so it must be good, right?
- Hudson Hawk – Two words – Suction cup Bombs. "Bunny, ball ball!"
- Striptease – I don’t know who convinced women that getting naked for us was "empowering" but I want to shake that man’s hand. Try to fast forward over the Burt Reynolds-baby oil part – creepy.
What do the numbers on the volume display mean?
This is far too common a question to be dealt with by throwing out "facts" and "historically accurate information." No, we here at the OPRA Institute of Advanced Flooshing aren’t going to bore you with graphs and charts and little shiny pieces of metal. Nope, we are going to give you the hard, cold truth – those numbers have nothing to do with volume and EVERYTHING to do with Spinal Tap. That’s right, Spinal Tap. For those of you that haven’t seen the groundbreaking documentary, there was a discussion of loudness. Their amps went to 11. The idiotic interviewer couldn’t quite understand that concept but audiophiles all over the world did – and demanded that their volumes go to 11 as well. And then 12, 13… it was an arms race of the loudest amp/processor/receiver! It was out of control! Eventually, Reagan had to step in (remember the airline strike? A ruse for this far more important negotiation) and he put a stop to the escalation. At the time, Fisher was about to put out a receiver that had hash marks on it SO SMALL that they could only be read with the help of a telescope (that’s right, a telescope). They even sold it as an accessory. The thing was so ridiculous that the other manufacturers complained and an arbitrary (that’s right ARBITRARY) system was instituted. We here at OPRA International have finally gotten our hands on this super secret, hereto unknown formula for calculating the number of clicks on your volume dial and the 0 point:
Basically, you take the first three letters in the designer’s name and convert them into numbers (a=1, b=2, etc.). Now, if the INITIAL design team meeting (the very first one) was on a Wednesday, you take the three numbers and multiply them. If it was on a Monday – you divide the first into the third, square the product, and add 10x the second. If it was any other day, you just add them together, multiply by the age in months of the youngest child by any of the lead designers (minimum of 2). Next you have to contact the Amp And Receiver Police (the AARP – yes it is the same people and they DO like it loud) and they will send you, based on the weather, the date/time of the request, and the number of prunes consumed that day, a multiplier. That multiplier is then applied to the number. That is the total number of "clicks" your dial may have. Now to get the "zero" point, you take that number and divide by two, add the number of buttons on your remote (except for the power button 'cause that would be silly), add two for luck, and voila – that is the clicks (from the left) that gets you to "zero". If your final number of clicks ends up really large, you are forced to use decimals so that people don’t think they are actually hearing noises 325 dB below the 0 point. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
What is the difference between Watts and Dynamic Watts?
Well, I saw this one come up on the forums and I really wanted to answer. But I can’t it seems – because I’ve been banned. Go figure. Anyhoo, watts are a very strange and mysterious thing. I don’t pretend to understand the strange little electrical land that they come from but I do understand the difference between a normal watt and a dynamic one. See a normal Watt isn’t very exciting, it doesn’t make you FEEL anything. Take this website for example. See, I go to that website and I think, “Meh, don’t really care about Watts.” Now when I go to this website, I get a much more intense (dynamic if you will) feeling about Watts. So how does this translate into audio? Simple. The normal watt lives out its little life doing everything it is supposed to do. It mows the grass every weekend, it takes the kids to soccer practice, it likes to cook out occasionally. The dynamic watt on the other hand likes to throw down, get wild and funky, and generally have a good time. You need both kinds of watts. If you had nothing but dynamic watts, your amp/receiver would burn up in a matter of days. If you just had the normal ones you’d have problems playing loud past 7pm, your sub would refuse to work occasionally, and your receiver would constantly default to 7 channel stereo (normal watts like that setting). Putting the dynamic watts and the normal watts together gets the normal watts to stay up past its bedtime while tempering the soon to be coke fueled uberbash that the dynamic watt was planning for Mardi Gras. Everyone wins.
“The OPRA Institute of Advanced Flooshing”
Have you thought about starting a certification program? Could even be an on-line course where the student earns credits while posting irrelevant information to various “qualifying” forums
Beginning Flooshing 0101
Flooshing for Applied Sciences with Laboratory 0201 & 1201
History of Flooshing Through the Computer Age 0321
Internet Surfing for Useless Knowledge (Elective) 1251
Advanced Flooshing 2101
Analytical Flooshing for Applied Sciences with Laboratory 2201 & 2221
Understanding Technical Terminology for Flooshing 2316
Introduction to Wireless Internet at Public Places for Remote Flooshing 2327
(elective credit - cost of beverages and food at local Starbucks is not included)
We can work on additional terms as classes start to fill
Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!