Armed with a George Warren turntable (about $4,200) with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cartridge ($2,300), Snake River Audio cables, and Vienna Acoustics speakers, the folks from Rogers High Fidelity were well-prepared to demonstrate just what their gear can do.
Rogers High Fidelity is the brainchild of Roger Gibboni, an experienced electrical engineer who counts RCA and GE among his former employers. His intent with Rogers is to build quality, hand-built components that can be treated as heirlooms — the kind of thing the kids will fight over later.
Rogers brought along both of their integrated amplifiers: the EHF-100 ($6,350) and the EHF-200 MK2 ($14,000). The EHF-100 features a frequency response of 65 watts per channel and a classic KT-88s/12ax7 combo in the tube complement. The EHF-200 can be toggled between ultralinear mode, which offers a frequency response of 112 watts per channel, or triode mode, which offers 80 watts per channel. Its tube complement consists of KT-150s, EF86s, and 12ax7’s. MK2 brings a preamplifier input and preamplifier output for a powered subwoofer, so that it can be used as a stand-alone power amplifier with another preamplifier of one’s choosing. MK2 also includes a remote volume control, which is always handy. These were paired with the much-lauded PA-1A Phono preamplifier ($7,400).
During my visit to the room, we listened to the EHF-200 MK2 get down and dirty with some Mississippi John Hurt. The system brought a great deal of immediacy to Last Sessions, picking out the texture of the blues singer’s voice, and offering very nice bass authority with just a touch of roundedness in the bottom end. It didn’t so much make me leap up and say, “Wow! Would you listen to that detail?” as let me lean back and say, “Aw yeah. Listen to that.” The performance was strong, comfortable, and musical.