Rogers Overview

Rogers was formed by Jim Rogers in 1947, and had a long and successful history building electronics and speakers before getting involved with building BBC loudspeakers in the 1970s. Being honest, I know very little about Rogers before this time, so am hugely indebted to Leonard Hicken for sending me a comprehensive timeline of the company over the years, which I am reproducing here with his kind permission.

He tells me that much of this information came from researching the Gramophone digital archives and other internet resources, and was quick to caution that he regards it as a first draft only, and hopes that others might be able to submit additions and corrections. If so, please contact me.

Rogers timeline
Date Description
1947 Rogers forms a small company called Rogers Developments Company with a partner named S.C.E. Macadie. Rogers Developments address is 106 Heath Street, Hamstead, London.
1948-49 Introduction of RD Junior amplifier, deluxe amplifier, tuner and speakers.
1950 On July 1st, relocates to 116 Blackheath Road, Greenwich, London. Begins manufacturing custom cabinets for Hi-Fi equipment.
1951-52 Introduction of the RD Baby and Baby deluxe amplifiers, Baby deluxe preamplifier and the Minor amplifier. Manufactures the Williamson designed amplifier and preamplifier.
1953 Introduction of RD Junior Corner Horn, RD Baby Deluxe MK II amplifier, RD Junior MK II Preamplifier and the RD Junior Radio Unit.
1954 Introduction of RD Senior Control Unit and Amplifier.
1955 Introduction of the new RD Junior Amplifier and Control Unit and the RD Minor MK III Amplifier. Company name changes to Rogers Developments (Electronics) Ltd.
1956 Introduction of the RD Junior VHF FM Unit and the RD Senior MK III Control Unit.
1957 Relocates to 4-14 Barmeston Road, Catford, London.
1958 Introduction of the RD Junior MK II Control Unit, RD Junior Stereo Control Unit, RD Cadet Amplifier, RD Cadet Control Unit, RD Cadet Stereo Control Unit, RD Junior Switched FM Unit, RD Senior MK II Amplifier and RD Senior MK IV Control Unit.
1959 Introduction of the HG88 Integrated Stereo Amplifier, RD Junior MK II Stereo Control Unit and Rogers Variable FM Receiver.
1960 Introduction of the RD Junior Stereo Amplifier, Rogers Master Stereo Control Unit and RD Cadet MK II Amplifier.
1961 Introduction of the HG88 MK II Integrated Stereo Amplifier, RD Junior MK III Stereo Control Unit.
1962 Introduction of the RD Cadet MK II Stereo Amplifier and RD Cadet MK II Stereo Control Unit.
1963 Introduction of the Rogers Lowline Equipment Cabinet, Rogers Cadet II Speaker System and Rogers Stereo Pickup Booster Unit.
1964 Introduction of the Rogers Mini-Cadet Compact Speaker System, Rogers MK II Switched FM Receiver and Rogers MK II Variable FM Receiver.
1965 Introduction of the Rogers Cadet MK III Stereo Amplifier-Control Unit, Rogers Lowline Equipment Cabinet MK III, Rogers Wafer Ultra-Slim Speaker System.
1966 Introduction of the HG88 MK III Stereo Amplifier and Rogers Stereo Decoder.
1967 Introduction of the Rogers MK III Switched FM Receiver, Rogers MK II Stereo Decoder, Ravensbourne Integrated Stereo Amplifier and Ravensbourne Speaker System. The factory is expanded by adding a second floor and an additional factory is established, located at Sidcup.
1968 Introduction of the Ravensbourne '2' FET FM Tuner.
1969 Introduction of the Ravensbrook Integrated Stereo Amplifier and Ravensbrook Speaker System.
1970 Introduction of the Ravensbrook FET FM Tuner.
1971 Introduction of the Ravensbrook Series II Stereo Amplifier, Ravensbrook Tuner-Amplifier and Rogers Stereo Headphones.
1972 Rogers is approved under license from the BBC to manufacture BBC designed speakers. Begins manufacture of the Rogers BBC Monitor Loudspeaker (LS3/6). Purchases Bruel & Kjaer measuring equipment and builds an anechoic chamber in a garage.
1973 Introduction of Ravensbrook Series III Stereo Amplifier and Ravensbrook Series II FM Tuner. Improves the Wafer Speaker. A new company, Chartwell Electro-Acoustics is incorporated on June 1st, 1973, by Dave Stebbings, former BBC engineer. This company will manufacture BBC designed speakers under license in competition with Rogers. It is mentioned here because Chartwell runs into financial difficulty in 1978 and is taken over by Rogers.
1975 Rogers obtains BBC license to manufacture LS3/5A speakers. Introduction of the Panthera A75 amplifier. William Ling purchases the financially troubled Rogers Developments and via his Acoustics Enterprises Ltd. Company, loans £20,000 to Rogers to keep it afloat. Brian Pook is hired as Managing Director. Jim Rogers leaves to form a new company called JR Loudspeakers. Unfortunately, Acoustics Enterprises goes bankrupt and the Receiver demands repayment of the loan. Michael O'Brien, owner of M. O'Brien HiFi steps in and attempts to buy Rogers Developments but finds the assets cannot be purchased due to non-payment of rates to the Borough of Lewisham. Rogers workforce is let go and the company ceases trading. O'Brien and Pook decide to start up again. An existing available trading name, Swisstone Electronics, is taken and becomes an active incorporated company on December 1st, 1975. They repurchase most of Rogers assets from the Receiver’s auction and renegotiate a new lease for the Barmeston Road premises. Most importantly, they buy the rights to the Rogers trademark from the Receiver. The Sidcup premises is not retained. Pook and 5 other former Rogers employees get things started at Swisstone Electronics.
1976 New logo is introduced, consisting of the word Rogers in white lettering enclosed in a black rectangle below which are the words BRITISH HIGH-FIDELITY with a picture of the Union Jack between the words BRITISH and HIGH. Being a new company, Swisstone has to negotiate for a license from the BBC to manufacture the LS3/5A. Former Rogers workers are gradually rehired. Richard W. Ross is hired as head of loudspeaker design. Introduction of the Rogers A75 Series 2 Amplifier. Introduction of the Rogers Export Monitor, a vast improvement over the much troubled LS3/6 production. Overseas sales and distribution is begun.
1977 Introduction of the Rogers Compact Monitor and Rogers T75 Series 2 Tuner.
1978 Swisstone purchases the assets and goodwill of Chartwell Electro-Acoustics Ltd. which had gone into receivership. This includes an extensive cone manufacturing plant in Mitcham.
1979 Introduction of the Rogers Reference Monitoring System, consisting of the existing LS3/5A, a new sub-woofer and new crossover control unit, the XA 75. Introduction of the Rogers A100 Amplifier. New speakers continue to be developed and sold under the Chartwell brand name (e.g. PM110).
1980-81 Introduction of the A75 Series 3 Amplifier, T100 Preset Digital Tuner, Studio 1 Loudspeaker, LS5/8 BBC licensed Studio Monitoring Loudspeaker (active) and PM 510 Studio Monitoring Loudspeaker (passive).
1982 Introduction of the LS1, LS5 and LS7 loudspeakers, and the MCP 100 Moving-Coil Preamplifier. Brian Pook leaves the company and Richard Ross becomes the Managing Director. Swisstone moves from 4-14 Barmeston Road to Unit 3, 310 Commonside East, Mitcham, which is adjacent to the existing Chartwell manufacturing facility.
1985 Introduction of the LS2, replacing the LS1 loudspeaker and the LS6 replacing the LS5 loudspeaker. Introduction of the BBC licensed LS5/9 loudspeaker.
1987 Replacement of the Studio 1 with the Studio 1a loudspeaker. Replacement of the LS7 with the LS7t loudspeaker.
1989 Introduction of the LS4A loudspeaker.
1990 Introduction of the P24 loudspeaker.
1991 Introduction of the LS4a/2, LS2a/2 and LS8a loudspeakers. Managing Director Richard Ross dies at the age of 41. Swisstone acquires the financially troubled ONIX ELECTRONICS LTD.
1992 Introduction of the Rogers Studio 3 loudspeaker. Andy Whittle is hired as Research and Technical Director.
1993 Wo Kee Hong Holdings buys Swisstone, including the rights to the Rogers brandname. Swisstone is retained in the UK to provide research and manufacturing of the Rogers brand for the parent company. Introduction of the Rogers Studio 7 loudspeaker. Production of the LS3/5A is halted.
1994 Introduction of the Studio 7 loudspeaker.
1995 Wo Kee Hong Holdings changes the name of its UK company from Swisstone Electronics to Rogers International (UK) Ltd. on July 11, 1995. Introduction of the AB1 Subwoofer. The Rogers logo is now "Rogers" in white lettering inside a blue rectangle and "BRITISH HIGH-FIDELITY" in blue lettering inside a white rectangle immediately below the blue rectangle.
1996 Introduction of LS33 loudspeaker, AB33 Subwoofer, db 101 loudspeakers and revised LS1 loudspeakers. Audio Note (UK) Ltd. is commissioned to manufacture the E40a and E20a Integrated Valve Amplifiers under the Rogers brand name.
1997 Address of Rogers International (UK) Ltd. changes from 310 Commonside East, Mitcham to Unit 13, Bath House Road, Beddington Lane, Croydon, Surrey.
1998 Rogers International (UK) Ltd. ceases manufacturing in the UK. All products now manufactured in Asia.
1999 Rogers International (UK) Ltd. changes its name to Mitcham Manufacturing Ltd. to facilitate closing down all business operations in the UK. The name Rogers International (UK) Ltd. and the Rogers brandname remain active under control of Wo Kee Hong Holdings.
2000 Final dissolution of Mitcham Manufacturing occurs on June 13, 2000.
2001-14 Wo Kee Hong Holdings manufactures a long list of products given the Rogers brand name. Of special interest is the Rogers 60th anniversary (of the founding of Rogers) edition of the LS3/5a loudspeakers. These are made in the UK under BBC license, but the actual manufacturer is not identified in the brochure. There is also a 60th anniversary edition of the E20a and E40a Valve Amplifiers, but the brochure does not indicate that these are made in the UK. A 65th anniversary edition of the LS3/5a is produced, but they are not under BBC license and are manufactured in China. It should also be noted that there is a totally unrelated company located in the USA called Rogers High Fidelity. This company was established in 2009 by Roger Gibboni. Its main products are high quality valve amplifiers. Its logo consists of the words “Rogers High Fidelity” in black lettering with the word “Rogers” appearing in an upward slant in cursive format.

At the time of writing, the above table is almost entirely Leonard's work - I have only made one or two minor edits, and haven't spent any time trying to double-check any of it myself yet. But as said above, Leonard and I are both keen to make this as good as possible, and so all contributions are very welcome.

Brian Pook's History

Mentioned elsewhere in this section, Brian Pook's account is an extremely valuable resource for learning the history of Rogers - and an entertaining read! It can be found at LS3/

Rogers today

Rogers have been owned by the Wo Kee Hong Group since 1993.

Back in 2008 they relaunched the LS3/5A using modern drive units. It retailed for around £1500, and got a rave review from Ken Kessler in HiFi News. Martin Colloms was also very positive in his HIFICRITIC review.

A few years back, the (currently not working) Rogers website listed a wide range of consumer electronics wearing the Rogers name, including AV receivers, DVD players and plasma screens! As of 2013, I notice that a lot of these have been discontinued, and the product line had been slimmed down to focus on just loudspeakers and amplifiers.

But that was before Rogers "proper" was re-launched, with Andy Whittle heading up a UK operation that is carrying the LS3/5A and LS5/9, amongst other products - as described elsewhere in this section. The new website - is live now.

The old Rogers factory

A few years ago I stumbled across some photos of the deserted Rogers factory in Mitcham - these were taken back in 2007 by urban explorers. I still find these photos both fascinating and haunting in equal measure!