13 May 2019
Part Time Audiophile recently attended Axpona 2019 and published a Best of Show article which included Roger’s High Fidelity. Below is an excerpt.
Eric’s Best of Show
Posted on May 8, 2019 by Eric Franklin Shook in Axpona 2019
CHICAGO (PTA) — Despite the sometimes overwhelming size that shows like AXPONA 2019 portray, for me this exhibition still represents the largest collection of small businesses I have ever seen under one roof. Most of the exhibitors are indeed “mom-and-pop shops”. Most of these audio companies have only five to seven key employees, and often with a single figurehead wearing five of the most crucial hats within that company. Those being: the money, the designer, the face, the communicator, and the boss. Be these high-end wares and what they are, this is still a small-family-business expo. I say all of this, as a reminder. For as the shows grow bigger these facts will always remain about our industry, its people, and its key players. Act accordingly.
The Best of The Show
For one man to capture the entirety of a show the size of AXPONA 2019 is impossible. Even with a staff of five on hand this year, developing a consensus among the writers proves a challenge. That said, I bring to you one man’s perspective. Of the forty exhibit rooms and booths I covered, these were the standouts. Enjoy!
Best Value Room: KLH, Rogers High Fidelity
Of the new KLH’s twelve in-room loudspeaker models in the product line-up, two were on active display at AXPONA. The new Kendall, a three-way tower loudspeaker — and the new Albany, a two-way monitor loudspeaker. As a nod to the KLH brand’s history, each is named after a street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the birthplace of KLH. Each was finished in a real-wood veneer as standard. Kevlar mid-bass and mid-range drivers abound, with anodized aluminum tweeters rounding out the top-end. Unheard of is a ten-year warranty on all of their passive loudspeakers. That is an insane amount of security for such a painless investment.
The Kendall tower loudspeaker garnered the most of my attention as it was able to flex all of it’s best attributes with such capable amplification. Bass was deep, solid, tight, and not overblown. Mid-range had a bloom and tone that definitely exceeded the thirteen-hundred dollar asking price. Top-end was a little hot, but that’s to be expected as the loudspeaker line-up is not just geared for two-channel listening, but home theater as well. I could even see myself enacting the often forbidden use of tone controls to tame the top-end during more critical listening.
Part Time Audiophile recently attended Axpona 2019 and published a review of the Paragon Imagination Room, in which Roger’s High Fidelity products were on display.
Posted on May 7, 2019 by Lee Scoggins in Axpona 2019
Paragon Sight & Sound had a second room that kind of caught me off guard. Rogers High Fidelity electronics were featured with Wilson Audio Alexia 2s ($57,900). Here’s the cool part. Everything was red! Paragon mated some gorgeous red Alexias to the red of the Rogers electronics and then Garth Leerer added in a Clearaudio Ovation table ($6,200 and up) with a red plinth! A very distinctive looking system!
The analog rig was really wonderful. It featured a Clearaudio Jubilee moving coil cartridge ($6,000) that uses Panzerholz wood, a product used for things like bulletproofing cars. This cartridge’s body is made from this wood that involved 70 layers of Baltic birch being super compressed. The lend stability to the cartridge. Garth mentioned the resulting low q and broadband phase coherence.
We listened to Shelby Lynne’s “Just a Little Lovin’”. It sounded great with beautiful detail on the cymbal decays. The Ovation and Jubilee combination was dynamite! “Poetry Man” by Phoebe Snow was also terrific with Phoebe’s voice rendered perfectly. This was in fact an overall smooth and natural sounding system. We heard the deep bass plucks on Rickie Lee Jones’ “Show Biz Kids” portrayed with depth and tightness on the two big Alexia woofers. This song is a demo cut for friends that come over to visit and it reminded me a bit of the home system. The Alexias were able to fill a rather large ballroom.
We listened to Malia and Boris Blank’s “I Feel It Like You” from the Convergence album via the always wonderful dCS Bartok DAC. I love the upbeat nature and “bounce” in this cut and the Bartok was capturing everything I have been hearing on the home system. The Alexia 2s are quick and dynamic! The system was described in my notes as having “punch and power.”
But let’s talk gear for a second…Rogers brought out a cool new KWM-88 “Corona” amplifier ($13,999) that can be operated by a remote app. Welcome to tubes in the future! The app can control all the features of the amp and it let’s you go from Triode to Ultralinear mode with a tap. Cool stuff.
The build quality of the Powered by four KT-150s as shown (you can also do KT-88s), it was working the Alexia 2s with precision. In the Rogers’ own words…
The Corona flexes these dynamic features:
- KT-88 or KT-150 tubes—four total/two each channel and four total for stereo operation following a true dual mono design
- Class A operation, military specification components, point to point Teflon wiring all carefully manufactured to the highest specifications
- Control capability via Bluetooth connection to either Apple iPhone or iPad applications, the Corona app displays all control functions of all the amplifiers features: Ultra-linear and triode modes, Volume, Input and the Status of the power tubes in real time operation using visual indicators.
- Toroidal type power supply circuit can easily handle large dynamic transitions in the audio signal being delivered while maintaining a smooth and clear midrange; vocals are presented with a truly rich and warm feel.
- Auto bias circuit for long tube life and ease of operation.
- One piece billet aluminum front panel, aviation-grade quality chassis all made in the USA in Warwick, NY
- Lifetime transferable warranty.
The power transformer on this amp alone was 30 pounds! Now we would not have gotten the sublime analog sound without the Rogers Fidelity Phono Stage PA-2 amplifier. Rogers seems to be operating on a very high plane when it comes to build quality. The PA-2 is all hand wired, point to point. Mil-spec parts quality and it meets mil-spec 2000 soldering quality. It’s a full Class A design and you can tube roll with 12AU7, 12AX7, and 12AV7 vacuum tubes. Gain varies between 50db and 65db. Loading can be varied between 100 ohms and 1 Meg ohm. Signal to noise is 90db and channel isolation is at least 75db. Fit and finish were stellar.
Rogers also had their great sounding 65v2 headphone amplifier ($4,999) on display outside the room with Focal Utopia and Stella headphones. Transparent Cable supplied their Reference series of cables including their power isolator. These cables no doubt matched up well with the Alexias given that Transparent supplies the internal wire for Wilson Audio speakers.
This was simply an excellent-sounding and attractive to look at system. Congratulations to Paragon, Garth and Roger!
AXPONA 2019 Show Coverage brought to you by the LSA Group
22 Apr 2019
Rogers High Fidelity took part in Axpona 2019 and it was a resounding success! The system in the Imagination Room, graciously hosted by Paragon Sight and Sound, won the Positive Feedback Audio Oasis award at the expo.
Imagination Room Setup:
To experience the award winning Corona amplifier for yourself, contact us to locate your nearest dealer.
04 Apr 2019
Come out and see Rogers High Fidelity from April 12-14 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL and get a first look at our newest product…
The Corona features an aviation grade chassis, aerospace specifications, is completely hand wired in the USA, and comes with a transferrable lifetime warranty.
AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) is the largest high-end audio show in North America. The three-day experience features multiple hotel floors packed with listening rooms, The Expo Hall featuring The Record Fair, a dedicated Ear Gear Expo, seminars and live musical performances. Whether you’re a serious audiophile, a newcomer to high-end audio or simply a music lover, you’ll find everything you need to immerse yourself in your favorite sounds.
The event features over 190 high fidelity listening rooms, providing guests the enviable opportunity to experience the newest technology in high-end consumer audio products. Attendees are encouraged to go from room to room and sit, listen and compare the various systems. The Marketplace and Ear Gear Expo play host to thousands of products and accessories from cables to headphones to LPs and SACDs.
Rogers High Fidelity will be featured in two rooms at Axpona, the Imagination Room and Room 528, alongside these fine brands:
We are very excited to announce the latest addition to the Rogers family, the 65V-2 integrated amplifier. This amplifier is an upgrade to our critically acclaimed 65V-1 for those looking for a bit more. Upgrades to the 65V-2 include:
DOUBLE the power output (50 WPC vs 25 WPC)
CNC milled front panel
High-gloss “Matador Gold” powder coating
iPhone and iPad control app
Automated tube bias monitoring
The 65V-2 has arrived for demo at our exclusive dealer for this product, Paragon Sight & Sound in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is also available for purchase online at ParagonSNS.com.
The Model 65V-2 is Class A, single-ended design, all tube integrated amplifier with dedicated headphone output that is designed to use either EL-34 or KT-88 tubes with no adjustment or changes. Simply insert the tube of your selection!
The 65V-2 has a durable DuPont exclusive sintered “Matador Gold” red powder coat with clear gloss finish and solid billet aluminum front panel. The chassis is made with heavy gauge aircraft grade aluminum. An LCD display has a tube status indicator to automatically monitor tube bias and provide advanced notice for replacement.
The auto bias circuit allows effortless operation for the user. No adjustments are needed to get both long tube life and superior audio performance. Selectable audio modes of triode and ultra-liner operation provide an enhanced sound stage selection.
The 65V-2 uses a toroidal type power supply and a separate low noise DC tube filament power supply, which enhances the pure fidelity signal reproduction. A dedicated headphone output circuit provides optimum performance during more intimate listening sessions.
An available iOS app (compatible with iPad or iPhone) uses a Bluetooth wireless connection to enhance the user experience, smartly displaying the amplifier’s output level using real-time telemetry information.
All Rogers High Fidelity Products are built by hand one at a time using all military grade components and Teflon coated point-to-point wiring and carry a lifetime warranty.
- Made In The USA– Hand built to the most exacting specifications in our New York Facility. Each amplifier is shipped with a fully evaluated test data package so that the customer can see how his/her particular unit performed after acceptance.
- (2) EL-34 OR KT-88 Tubes– Customer can select vacuum tube based on personal preference at purchase time
- Completely Hand Wired– The entire amplifier is wired by hand using all discrete components and all point to point. All of the wiring and soldering meets the Military Standard 2000 requirements. All operators are trained to this standard.
- Class A Operation– Military specification components, point to point Teflon wiring all carefully manufactured to the highest specifications.
- Control Capability via Bluetooth– Connection to an Apple smartphone application, the 65V-2 displays on application control functions of all the amplifiers features: Ultra-linear and triode modes, Volume: Ultra-linear and triode modes, Volume, Input and the operational mode setting using a LCD screen with visual indicators.
- Power Supply Circuit– Can easily handle large dynamic transitions in the audio signal being delivered while maintaining a smooth and clear midrange; vocals are presented with a truly rich and warm feel.
- Auto Bias Circuit– For long tube life and ease of operation. Self Bias circuit for adjustment free operation and longest tube life. Customer does not need to adjust tube bias. As the tubes age, they adjust for bias changes automatically. The customer can change tubes at any time or replace a single tube rather than the full set and the amp will automatically re-bias for the change.
- Aviation Grade Chassis– All amplifier chassis are aviation grade aluminum with a muti-phase powder coat and clear coat finish.
- Aerospace Specifications– All resistors, capacitors, transformers, and inductive components meet or exceed the applicable military quality standards for parts selection.
- Burn-In Process– Each amplifier undergoes a rigorous 100 hour burn-in prior to acceptance testing.
- Power Measurement System– Each amplifier has a tuned, power measurement system that allows for flawless system integration and adjustment.
- Binding Posts– Solid milled copper binding posts plated with gold create a seamless connection
- Internal Wiring– The entire amplifier is wired using 18 gauge Military Standard 16878 teflon coated, silverplated copper wire. Because this is a Class A design, there is some heating of the unit that causes the wiring to age and degrade over time. Teflon coating prevents this and is designed to last for the entire life of the product.
13 Nov 2018
Rogers High Fidelity is pleased to be partnering with Paragon Sight & Sound to offer the Rogers range of tube amplifiers, preamplifiers, and phono preamplifiers both in Paragon’s brick and mortar showroom, as well as on their online webstore. Paragon Sight & Sound is a family-owned business that has been an industry leader in high-quality 2-channel equipment for over four decades. Their dedicated sales staff, headed by owner Larry Marcus, is committed to helping customers build the very best systems according to their wants, needs, and budget.
The entire Rogers High Fidelity line is available for audition and purchase at Paragon’s Ann Arbor, Michigan showroom, with most products also available for purchase online.
Both Rogers High Fidelity and Paragon Sight & Sound are dedicated to making tube gear accessible to long-time audiophiles and newer hobbyists alike. Affordable price-points, ease of use and maintenance, and the development of integrated app controls are among the hallmarks of Rogers’ philosophy of accessibility. Paragon Sight & Sound is working closely with us to support these initiatives and to pass the knowledge base on to consumers.
Through extensive training and the hands-on experience of working with Rogers High Fidelity products every day in-store, the Paragon sales team is uniquely qualified to answer questions and guide customers through the selection and purchase of the perfect tube gear to complement an existing system – or to build a new system from the ground up!
By: David Blumenstein | October 2018
It’s been a while since tube/valve gear made any extended appearance in any of my homes. Nothing against the gear, but what with graduation and traveling and not settling down it just wasn’t practical. This is not to say that in my time I did not possess tube/valve gear from Audio Research and Conrad-Johnson, but those times were indeed fleeting, and with the renewed interest in tube/valve gear by the public I thought it high time, now that I’m more situated, to start taking a look at what’s new.
Having attended and covered more than a few Hi-Fi shows, I would always make my way to the Rogers High Fidelity exhibit room where their gear was coupled with Burwell & Sons horn speakers. There was something about the sound. As I got to know Roger Gibboni, Rogers’ President & chief designer, and Rob Pleyer, its Director of Sales, I became more and more comfortable with them, to the point that I could ask to audition their idea of a 21st century integrated amplifier, the 65V-1, a class A, singled ended, lower power design. The unit they sent came with EL34s, but purchasers can specify their preference for KT88’s if they so desire.
The Rogers High Fidelity 65V-1 integrated amplifier ($4,000) comes with a lifetime warranty and has the look and tangible feel of a traditionally designed unit.With its Teflon coated military specification wire and military specification components, not to mention its point to point wiring, one could rightly think the 65V-1 was designed to be combat ready, and that would not be too far off target. But don’t let all that military precision fool you, there’s a wrinkle here sure to please the folks in Cupertino. Rogers has designed an iPad [iOS] remote control app relying upon Bluetooth connectivity to do the following:
▪ Display the power out on a virtual VU meter
▪ Enable users to switch between triode/ultra-linear output (more on that to follow)
▪ Enable users to switch between line level inputs
It took a while for me to become accustomed to using an iPad to remotely control the 65V-1 and, mind you, I’ve always been an early tech adopter. Still, being as it was the first time encountering such, I had to remember that when grabbing for the remote that, given it’s an iPad, it does indeed multitask, and for that reason just might be off somewhere in another room. Note: In my communications with both Roger and Rob of Rogers, I pleaded with them to think about making the iOS app available for the iPhone as well. And from what I understand some new designs will be iPhone compatible, and I’m hoping the 65V-1 will be retrofitted.
The remote-control app and its virtual VU meter are critical. The meter is calculated in watts from 0 to 25 and it samples both channels’ power output and in turn displays continuous average power. Simply put, Rogers would like its customers to note when they start to hear clipping, and then turn the volume down to just about 20% below this level. For the uninitiated this takes practice. It is not an insurmountable task, and while the iPad remote control is not absolutely necessary, it is fun, but the purplish LCD-like display can be hard to read at times.
The 65V-1 is a kit that an engineer could just … its look, its feel, the mechanical switches really brought me back. It is physically imposing at 17” W x 7.5”H and 12” D, but at 24lbs, the 65V-1 is lighter than I would have thought. As stated earlier, the model sent to me came with Mullard EL34 tubes/valves, I could have requested KT88s as well, but I let Rogers decide. To be fair, this started out as Rogers being rather friendly to me and sending me the unit to audition and not review, so I can get a better read of Rogers as a company, its design philosophy and workmanship. Over time, I became entranced to the point where I just wanted to share my experiences with my readers.
You will notice in the picture above that one of the toggles is expressly for switching between headphones and speakers. It’s a nice feature to have as I made great use of the headphone jack when I transported the 65V-1 from my primary listening area into my office, where I work more often wearing headphones. This is an oddity, as I cannot stand wearing headphones in my normal listening configuration, but when sitting near field, I’m okay with it. Hmm. This will require some self-exploration. Note: While Rogers does supply a headphone jack, one is not likely to purchase a 65V-1 solely for that purpose. It did an admirable job of powering my Audioquest Nighthawks and Meze Classic & Neo 99 and, if anything, I would say this functionality is a very welcome feature and for some could be a deciding factor in comparison with similar tube/valve integrated amplifiers lacking such.
Connecting the 65V-1 is pretty much straightforward. About the only thing I could mention is that upon powering up users should note that there is a red light on the power toggle. This indicates the unit is powered on. The digital display will take about 60 seconds while the filament slow-start circuit starts up. This slow start circuit is designed to significantly increase the tube lifetimes. Yes, there is a Bluetooth antenna that comes with, and yes, it is easy to screw on and install. The iPad remote control will not work without that being attached.
Even though it’s been a while, I still remember that tube/valve gear doesn’t just need but demands high efficiency/sensitive speakers. To that end I was prepared. I could have connected some less than efficient speakers, but to what end? I knew what that would mean, and I was not going to put either myself or you through it for that matter. I assembled a series of speakers with which to listen to the 65V-1, all of which are rated at 90 dB or higher:
• Audio Note AX-2
• Blumenstein Audio Marlin
• Blumenstein Audio Orca
• Klipsch Quartet
• Tekton Design Mini Lore Monitor
These speakers range from 90 dB to 97 dB in rated sensitivity by their respective manufacturers. The 65V-1 played nicely with all of them. The AX-2 being rated at 90 dB gave me some initial concern, but that’s when more fun began as I started switching between Triode and Ultra-linear output modes. Long story short, as I wrestled with the idea of providing a history of and detailed definition/description/differentiation of the modes, the number of pages and the sheer boredom started setting in. Again, I am not going to put you, my readers, through that. What I will say is that in ultra-linear mode the 65V-1 appears to pack more punch, although it comes with a loss of detail in comparison to triode mode, in which less sensitive speakers fare worse and the higher efficiency speakers let me relax and soak in the finer detail and the nuances of the recordings in my listening sessions.
Here’s a breakdown of how each of the speakers fared with respect to output modes: the Audio Note AX-2 and Blumenstein Audio Marlin speakers sounded fuller and more authoritative in Ultra-linear mode. The Blumenstein Audio Orca, Tekton Design Mini Lore Monitor and Klipsch Quartets took just about everything in stride and flourished in Triode mode.
What I listen to is not important, and should not be. This is why I continually omit my reference recordings in my writings. They are mine and not yours. Why am I highlighting this at this juncture? Because it speaks to ultra-linear vs. triode mode. At the end of the day the decision is subjective. Yes, there will be compromises and trade-offs but those are decisions only you can make and hear for yourself. I can only guide you so far. What I can share with you is my Facebook Project: New Album Releases – curation and listing of recordings released in calendar year 2018 – and apart from my reference recordings, I listen to a great deal of this music while auditioning gear, so maybe you’ll find something here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/newalbumreleases
My primary listening room is large (24’ x 20’) and I must say that with the appropriate speakers the Rogers 65V-1 filled the room with sound. The ephemeral glow of the tubes at night was an added plus. They transported me back in time…fade to a Montgomery Burns moment. The 65V-1 felt at home in my office as well, I just had to clear up some space, which forced me to de-clutter as its footprint is noticeably larger than either my Bel Canto Design s300 or the truly diminutive PS Audio Sprout 100. Well built, professionally designed and taking a bite out of 21st century technology, the 65V-1 could very well be the tube/valve integrated amplifier for this generation. There’s more going on under the hood.