On Wednesday morning December 11, 2019, the audio world lost a legendary designer, a teacher and most of all a friend. Roger lost his battle with cancer and passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in San Pablo with hospice and visits from friends.
Roger’s career in audio spanned over 40 years including working at IBM, running an audio repair shop, teaching, working for Beveridge and finally starting his own audio business in 1984. Roger designed a number of successful audio products including phono stages, preamps and amplifiers. He also developed a method for testing tubes to find the best tubes in a large lot (RAM Tubes). While Roger was clearly a gifted designer, he seemed to be driven by the pursuit and sharing of knowledge; running a business was secondary.
The members of the San Francisco Audiophile society were lucky enough to have Roger share his audio knowledge and experience with us on a number of occasions. He never pushed his products, instead he shared his passion for imparting information and his truth whether it was about RIAA curves, amplifier design or the history of tubes. The audio world lost another great one and Roger will be missed.
From Michael Fremer:
“I knew Roger for many years, at first only through phone calls and emails. I was fortunate to have met him years later through the San Francisco Audiophile Society and so happy to have shared that time with him. He was always a reluctant manufacturer, as I point out in my review of the RM200 MKII that I own and use as a tube reference, but so generous with his time and knowledge. (https://www.stereophile.com/content/music-reference-rm-200-mkii-power-amplifier
). Not surprisingly, the amp measures as well as it sounds, or as John Atkinson concluded: ‘As did the original version of the Music Reference RM-200 amplifier, the Mk.II edition offers superb measured performance for a tubed design, particularly in terms of midband distortion and the ability to drive low impedances. And I remain impressed by the quality of its output transformers.’ We all knew he had a terminal illness and he talked about it with me when I last visited in the fall. I just didn’t think he’d pass this quickly. He will be missed by all. What a lovely man.”
Services will be held January 4, 2020 at St. Joseph cemetery, 2540 Church Ln, San Pablo. Viewing from 10am -12pm, service from 12pm to 1pm, procession to follow. Roger’s good friend, Tony Chipelo, says “I can say it will not be your typical service.” Following the service a gathering will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 PM in the conference room at The Shops at Hilltop, 2200 Hilltop Mall Rd, Richmond. Food, drink and music will be available.