Rogers A100

Rogers A100aBack in the nineteen seventies, Rogers was one of the most famous hi-fi brands in Britain. Originally founded by Jim Rogers in 1947 to make speakers such as the Theatrical Horn Loudspeaker, the company later got the licence to build BBC monitors, and duly sold tens of thousands of LS3/5as, LS 5/1s and L 5/9s, the vast majority of which ended up in recording studios.

It also sold some small but classy integrated amplifiers such as the Cadet and Ravensbrook, but it wasn’t until the company went into receivership in 1975, emerging as part of Swisstone, that the brand launched a truly high quality amplifier and matching tuner. The A75 was expensive, selling for around £220 at a time when a Linn Sondek LP12 turntable cost slightly less, and put out 45W RMS per channel, which was a lot of power for amplifiers of the time.

A largish device at 360x120x300mm device and weighing around 10kg, it sported a black case tipped with teak end caps, as was the style of the day. It was purposefully styled, which is why it hasn’t dated much over the years, as it was never a hostage of fashion. The fascia was clean but well populated with treble, bass, balance and volume knobs, plus high filter (with switchable 6 and 9kHz turnover points), an auxiliary DIN input and loudspeaker switching.

A bank of input selectors ran down the right side, including two tape monitors, and there were corresponding DIN inputs for these around the back. Also, rather crude (by today’s standards) push-fit speaker terminals are fitted. When the higher end A100 arrived in 1980, it dispensed with DINs and went to RCA phono socketry, and added an extra 10W per channel (claimed). Aside from this, both A75 and A100 were physically very similar.

Although very capable, the Rogers A-series never quite set the world on fire, in sales terms. They faced very stuff competition – the A100 cost £344, which put it against the superb Nytech CTA 252XDII receiver, and the Rogers couldn’t quite muster the transient speed and grip of the Nytech, even if it was more powerful. Still, it did have a lovely, charming, warm sound that was expansive and sophisticated in equal measure.

Both the A75 and A100 are very pleasant sounding devices then, with plenty of power and control – the only criticism is that more modern amplifiers are more insightful and transparent, lacking the Rogers’ slightly veiled sound. The matching T100 tuner was also a nice thing to have, if not quite class-leading. All are good value second-hand, they seemed to have lasted well and don’t agree disproportionately high prices; you can pick a well preserved A75 for £150 or less if you’re patient.

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