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The OPRA Awards! Sign up now!

by August 24, 2006

As CEDIA looms close, OPRA Inc. has decided to instigate the long standing tradition held by many veritable print publications - Our own awards. Yes, the OPRA Award is likely to become the most coveted accolade in a sea of meaningless trophies, certificates, and, um, plaques. The staff at OPRA International decided to meet and brainstorm the criteria… ah… criterion… um… stuff we'll use to pick our winners. The first suggestion was to talk with Gene and Clint of Audioholics to pick their brains. Since that was the suggestion that required the least work on our part, the motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Since we were meeting at a bar with, um… dancing if you know what I mean, I couldn't quite make out everything Gene and Clint said over the phone but what I did hear didn't make much sense. Apparently, they look at the equipment they've actually reviewed and chose the best of the best. They take into account price, performance, innovation, ease of set up, etc. They flat out refuse to award products based solely on their spec sheet, word of mouth, and monetary compensation. They require no entrance fees or compensation from the manufacturers of the products that win. Well, that was absolutely no help to us.

We'd already done some research into this area and thought we should take a different track. One that many of the print publications had already established - paving the way and laying the groundwork for our awards. Here at OPRA LLC, we're all about the easy road. Let Gene and Clint take the road less traveled. So, if you'd like your product, service, or anything else remotely related to the audio/visual realm to be considered for an award, we'll need a few things from you:

  1. A detailed specifications sheet. You should be sure to list the name of the product, what it does, why it's the best, and what makes it utterly unique. Be sure to include words like "world's first" and "digital" and "stunning realism."
  2. A brief history of your company. You'll want to bullet point who you are, why you're the best manufacturer/provider in the known universe, and how you pretty much invented the entire field your product/service is related too. Use words like "pioneered" and "Dr." You might want to include a quote from your founder with some meaningless drivel to the effect of all this. Makes it more personal.
  3. Pictures. Lots of pictures. Preferably with a hot girl holding, using, or in the proximity of your product. So what if your product is a 500lb monobloc amp, it makes sense that it is at the beach on a towel with a half naked silicone enhanced woman fanning it with her bikini top.
  4. Entry fee*

If you'd like your product to be considered, please contact us directly for specifics at OPRA@audioholics.com .

*After much thought and lamentation, we decided that we couldn't in good conscience just give away awards. First, there is the cost of the graphic (our stamp of approval) and the… uh… little trophy thingie… and other stuff. Important stuff. Stuff we can't tell you about because we haven't made it up yet. But it costs money, yep, money that we'll need to recoup through entry fees. So, we immediately enlisted the aid of OPRA's Investigative Office - and that guy is really good with Google. This is what he came up with:

Well, obviously we can't charge as much as the Emmy's but surely we can get more than the Darwin's. Quite a conundrum. So, after a number of very heated conversations and a piece of paper drawn out of a hat, we came up with $197.38 for the initial entry and a very reasonable $132.48 for each additional entry from the same manufacturer. And if anyone asks, yes, it is a complete coincidence that these are the exact same amount for my car payment ('93 Civic - 20 year lease) and my monthly bagel bill (OPRA loves him some onion bagels). This is a flat fee for your product to be considered for an award. This fee is non-refundable. If your product or service wins, OPRA also promises to answer two questions for you, free of charge (and that is worth its weight in electrum).

We are completely impartial and can't be swayed by additional monies, advertising, or compromising photographs. However, if it is really important for you to win and we have a relationship with you (defined as "years of advertising and/or the possibility of years of advertising") we may be convinced to add a category that your product can win in. For example - we currently have categories for multi-channel, stereo, and mono amplifiers. If you feel like we should have a category for "multi-channel, hi-end, > $50,000, cold-filtered, blue amps, we perhaps could be convinced.

Don't forget, winning isn't everything. We also will make sure to have "honorable mentions" and "runners up." An honorable mention and a runner up is really just as good as winning the award - except you don't have to pay us the one time $274 fee for using our award graphic in any money-making scheme, ah, marketing campaign you wish. When people search for the best receiver, sure, you didn't win but your product will be referred to in write up of the winner. All you have to do is make sure your product is priced lower and suddenly you're the "reasonable alternative" to the "overpriced" winner. Bachelors buy the award winners, married men use the winners price to justify buying the runner up.

For cable and interconnect manufacturers, we have a special award category - Most Useless Product. We've found that all it really takes for the tweakers out there to be convinced to buy your product is a negative review. If you want to be considered for this award, make sure you include a few testimonials for your product from satisfied "customers." The "customers" should be absolutely fanatical about your product. They should talk about "lifted veils" and about how "dead and lifeless" their system was before. How your product "opened up the soundstage" and "hammered out problems" they didn't even know they had. The testimonials should sound like the "customer" would rather die than give up your product. If you don't have any testimonials like that on hand, let us know. We've got a few canned ones that we can modify for a small fee.

So, now that you know how it works, you're probably wondering, "Where do I sign?" Well, we can't discuss the specific industry workings and the virgin sacrifices or our masters… ah… supporters … the Overlords of T weaking A mplifiers R eceivers D isplays and S peakers will become displeased . They control most everything audio through a network of seemingly inept and chronically replaceable marketing execs. However, these marketing execs really are working behind the scenes with the Over TARDS to ensure that... wait? What was that? OK, apparently I've got to go.



About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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