**UPDATED 12/19/2017** Rogersound Labs CG4/CG24 Speakers

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ajzepp

Hey All...

I've not been in the market for speakers for a few years, but I'm putting together a smallish home theater/headphone room and have been looking for some little 2-ways. I have some speakers that probably are largely unknown, so I wanted to start a thread where I can share some of my feedback. Rogersound Labs was apparently very popular in California back in the 70s up through the early 90s. Howard, the designer and owner, retired, but as he began developing a speaker for his own home theater, apparently others who heard it felt he really had something. This could be a very nice origin story for marketing purposes, who knows, but there is enough buzz out there for me to at least give them an honest listen.

Here is the link to the website www.rslspeakers.com

I've ordered a pair of the CG4 monitors, and they are expected to arrive on Friday 11/30. I'll post some initial impressions fresh out of the box, but Howard has mentioned about six times that they need approx 40 hours of burn-in before they'll open up and show their true selves. I will certainly oblige him and give them plenty of burn-in time while I'm at work on Saturday and during football on Sunday. If the speakers are the real deal, my plan is to order a center and surrounds to complete the 5.1 rig. I already have a little subwoofer (again, one of the best kept secrets in audio, IMO) in the Outlaw Audio M8. It's a little 8" driver model that is unbelievably potent. It's perfect for my apartment setting, especially when I have it up on the Auralex SubDude isolation riser (worth its weight in gold).

So anyway, I'll update this thread as I go, and if anyone wants to chime in in the meantime please feel free!
« Last Edit: 20 Dec 2017, 12:23 pm by ajzepp »

Russell Dawkins

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #1 on: 27 Nov 2012, 06:29 am »
Thanks for reminding me of RSL. I recognized the logo immediately, but had completely forgotten about them. It's nice to know they are still kicking (and making great product, apparently!)

I'm looking forward to your impressions.

ajzepp

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #2 on: 27 Nov 2012, 10:24 pm »
Russell: I was hoping someone would recognize the name. I've been involved with high end audio for about 12 years or so now and I had no idea who they were. I will tell you what, though, the customer service I've received thus far (pre-sale) has been stellar. Personalized, prompt, and very helpful. The impression thus far as been very positive.

randytsuch

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #3 on: 27 Nov 2012, 11:06 pm »
Russell: I was hoping someone would recognize the name. I've been involved with high end audio for about 12 years or so now and I had no idea who they were. I will tell you what, though, the customer service I've received thus far (pre-sale) has been stellar. Personalized, prompt, and very helpful. The impression thus far as been very positive.

If you grew up in LA, and are old enough to remember the 70s and 80's, you probably remember RSL.
I was also surprised that RSL had be resurrected, I remember their going out of business sale in the early 90's, but like Russell had not thought about them in years.
There were other chain stereo stores in LA back then, Pacific and Federated are two that I remember that also went out of business at some point.

Randy

ajzepp

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #4 on: 27 Nov 2012, 11:10 pm »
I can't link it since I'm at work, but if you go on youtube there is a video of the RSL commercial from the 80s...it's really good quality and pretty funny to see! Some of the gear looks surprisingly appealing even though it's 30 years old.

srb

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #5 on: 27 Nov 2012, 11:16 pm »
My first impression is that they tick many boxes for high-value budget speakers (cast frame midbass, air core inductors, polypropylene capacitors, magnetic grilles), but I'm wondering about the 100Hz crossover.  I would prefer a 70Hz to 80Hz crossover point, but perhaps the design choice sacrificed 20Hz - 30Hz of low frequency response in favor of a slightly higher 88dB sensitivity.
 
AJ, do you have any other small two-ways that you might compare them to?
 
Steve

ajzepp

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #6 on: 28 Nov 2012, 12:47 am »
My first impression is that they tick many boxes for high-value budget speakers (cast frame midbass, air core inductors, polypropylene capacitors, magnetic grilles), but I'm wondering about the 100Hz crossover.  I would prefer a 70Hz to 80Hz crossover point, but perhaps the design choice sacrificed 20Hz - 30Hz of low frequency response in favor of a slightly higher 88dB sensitivity.
 
AJ, do you have any other small two-ways that you might compare them to?
 
Steve

Hey Steve!

I've auditioned quite a few little 2-ways over the years, cause that's my preference in a speaker after Magnepans, but the only ones I have in house right now are the little AudioEngine A2s.  I heard a ton of monitors and smallish 2-way floorstanders (e.g. Totem Arro) between 2005-2009, but once I bought the Maggie 3.6s I really haven't even paid attention to spekaers in general.

I had some concerns about the crossover too, so if I keep them I'll likely add in a 2nd subwoofer to smooth things out a bit and to make sure everything blends in well. One of the earliest audition experiences I had, though - and this was lke back in the mid-90s - was a pair of Monitor Audio 2-ways with dual Vandersteen subs. That demo left a lasting impression on me, and I've been a fan of the sub/sat arrangement ever since. I'm often in the minority in terms of preference, but I would rather go with a quality sub/sat than a larger 3-way floorstanding dynamic speaker.

The other speaker Im really hoping to demo in my home are the Silverline Minuets, which I'll have in before the trial period on the RSLs is up...unless the RSLs just bowl me over with awesomeness. A few other speakers have made an appearance on my short list over the last few weeks, including the Ascend Acoustics models. I even though it might be fun to bring it full circle and pick up a set of Paradigm Atoms...that's the speaker I started with back in 2001 and apparently the current model is quite good.


rslspeakers

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Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #7 on: 29 Nov 2012, 03:03 am »
Hey Steve!

I've auditioned quite a few little 2-ways over the years, cause that's my preference in a speaker after Magnepans, but the only ones I have in house right now are the little AudioEngine A2s.  I heard a ton of monitors and smallish 2-way floorstanders (e.g. Totem Arro) between 2005-2009, but once I bought the Maggie 3.6s I really haven't even paid attention to spekaers in general.

I had some concerns about the crossover too, so if I keep them I'll likely add in a 2nd subwoofer to smooth things out a bit and to make sure everything blends in well. One of the earliest audition experiences I had, though - and this was lke back in the mid-90s - was a pair of Monitor Audio 2-ways with dual Vandersteen subs. That demo left a lasting impression on me, and I've been a fan of the sub/sat arrangement ever since. I'm often in the minority in terms of preference, but I would rather go with a quality sub/sat than a larger 3-way floorstanding dynamic speaker.

The other speaker Im really hoping to demo in my home are the Silverline Minuets, which I'll have in before the trial period on the RSLs is up...unless the RSLs just bowl me over with awesomeness. A few other speakers have made an appearance on my short list over the last few weeks, including the Ascend Acoustics models. I even though it might be fun to bring it full circle and pick up a set of Paradigm Atoms...that's the speaker I started with back in 2001 and apparently the current model is quite good.

Hello,

Thanks to ajzepp for starting the thread about our speakers and to Russell Dawkins for letting us know about it. For the past couple of weeks I have enjoyed communicating the ajzepp about our speakers. We’ve been on some of the other forums and often answer questions about our older models as well as our current offerings.

I noted (and understand) one concern that srb made about the CG4 having a low frequency response down to 100 Hz. Our main criteria for the CG4’s design was clarity and imaging in the upper bass and mids. We felt we could achieve better results by not having to also make sure it would also have bass extension. I would normally agree that a 100 Hz low end response could be a concern. However, the CG4 was designed to be used with our subwoofer, the RSL Speedwoofer 10.  So the next question you may be asking is: Don’t most people recommend a crossover point of 80 Hz or below? The answer would normally be yes. Most subwoofers localize above that frequency.

The reason they localize above 80 Hz is because they have poor transient response that’s typified by overhang. They don’t stop when the music does. When we talk with customers who are looking to upgrade, we ask them if it’s easy to localize their subwoofer. Most answer yes. And that’s often with crossover frequencies below 80.

A very fast subwoofer without overhang such as our Speedwoofer 10 will not localize. It will not start to localize until you cross it over above 120 Hz. It integrates perfectly with the CG4. We recommend a crossover point at 90 or 100 Hz. Why as low as 90 if the CG4 is rated to 100 Hz? There is still considerable energy at 90 Hz and below. Also, if a subwoofer crosses over at 90 it doesn’t fall off the side of a mountain above that frequency. Typical subwoofer crossovers are 12 db/octave. So if you use a 90 Hz crossover point, there will be enough output from the sub and the CG4 to give a flat response.

RSL Speakers

ajzepp

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #8 on: 30 Nov 2012, 06:34 am »
Tomorrow is the big day...I have even taken the day off in honor of the RSL arrival  :thumb:

I'm very interested to see if these little guys will play nice with my Outlaw M8 sub. I'm sure it's not of the same quality as the Speedwoofer, but it's a very clean sub that outperforms its price point with ease. I'll give the CG4s plenty of time to break in over the next week or two, but out of the box it will receive a steady dose of music and movies in order that I may formulate some initial impressions. Some things I'll be looking for are transparency, which I find crucial to my enjoyment of any speaker these days, and also tonality. Since these will be used in a 5.1 capacity if I ultimately decide to keep them, I'm not too concerned about the size of the sound stage or even imaging. The surround tracks will take care of much of that. I hate to keep using the Magnepan example, but I'm accustomed to an uncanny level of realism with my main system. I will not hold them to that standard, of course, but will need to properly reproduce vocals and allow the best quality tracks and soundtracks to really shine.

I will give them every opportunity to succeed in my environment and for the intended purpose of handling the 5.1 duties in a smallish bedroom theater. I also will be honest in my opinions and won't sugar coat anything...I'm sure RSL would not have it any other way.

Will report back Friday evening with my early impressions and some pics!

ajzepp

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #9 on: 1 Dec 2012, 12:50 am »
While I"m going through the break-in process, here are some pics...


















They actually look much better than my iPhone camera would lead you to believe. Very substantial speakers with  small footprint.



bummrush

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #10 on: 1 Dec 2012, 01:08 am »
I have a pair if old RSLs . The woofer needs to be put back back in and glued down , part of the mdf has changed over time and the screws in wood haven't held up.  It was a used pair I bought on eBay never listened to them yet just have never fixed woofer but man they are one solid pair of speakers.

ajzepp

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #11 on: 1 Dec 2012, 02:02 am »
I have a pair if old RSLs . The woofer needs to be put back back in and glued down , part of the mdf has changed over time and the screws in wood haven't held up.  It was a used pair I bought on eBay never listened to them yet just have never fixed woofer but man they are one solid pair of speakers.

I had fun on youtube looking at videos of older Rogersound models....I swear, if you use quality headphones, you can really discern differences among speakers when the recording is properly done. I get a kick out of doing that. So far the most impressive video was the demo of the NOLA Baby Grand Reference.

ajzepp

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #12 on: 1 Dec 2012, 07:45 am »
Earlier today, after about the first three hours, I contacted RSL because the speakers were just sounding terrible. There was just no way that it was because they weren't broken in....either these were the most disappointing speakers I've ever heard or I had overlooked something at set-up. So I started with the basics...made sure all the connections were good...well as I was in the process of troubleshooting, I realized the issue. I am using an Onkyo stereo receiver and a sony bluray player for right now, and since the receiver is not HDMI compatible i've been running separate cables for audio. Well, I had the bluray player analog outs going into the receiver, but I had forgotten that I ALSO had the analog outs from the tv running into the receiver, too. This set of outputs has been problematic (distortion, overall poor quality) ever since a lightening storm earlier in the year and I never use them, I just had forgotten to disconnect the cable. So what I THOUGHT was the direct bluray signal was actually the audio out of the tv...the audio was traveling from the hdmi of the player to the tv, and then from the distorted analog outs into the receiver. I had the receiver set to Line 1/DVD, which was in fact the tv output.

SOOOOO, guess what...once I switched to the bluray input directly, the speakers came alive. I don't know that I"m completely blown away yet, but we're moving in the right direction. I'm going to burn them in tomorrow and Sunday while at work and during football, and then will see where we are on Monday. Needless to say, I'm far more hopeful now than I was earlier today. My litmus test is always my lady friend (she doesn't understand the gear at all, but she knows when something sounds different), and the minute I put it on Line 2 - the bluray - she immediately asked me what I did and why does it sound so much better. They are currently just sitting on top of a bookcase and I don't have the subwoofer hooked up, so there is a lot of room for improvement. Once I get them up on stands and dial in the Outlaw M8, I expect the sound to really fill out.

I'll wrap for now by saying that as of the end of day 1, I'm liking what I'm hearing.

More to come...

ajzepp

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #13 on: 2 Dec 2012, 03:35 am »
*crickets*

satfrat

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Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #14 on: 2 Dec 2012, 04:20 am »
Hi AJ, just got back from a 9 day trip to PC Repair for a severe virus "turkey" attack.  :lol: Well in my catching up mode, I just ran across your thread,,, very interesting as I too remember this monitor brand from the past and I also remember reading the review of this surround system from last years Sound & Vision mag. While a monitor with a 4" driver may be the bomb for HT, I'm more interested in reading what you have to say about listening to music,,, sound stage, depth, imaging, that sorta thing.

HERE'S just what you need for that piano finish. Just got some for my centers & subwoofer and my piano finish has never looked so damn sharp.  :thumb:

Cricket,
Robin

ajzepp

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #15 on: 2 Dec 2012, 06:42 am »
Woohooo!!!! A visitor!!! And one of my favorite visitors at that! Welcome, Cricket!!  :lol:

Thanks for the tip on that Cory polish...I just added to my Amazon list!

Even though I'll rarely be using these for music (I listen to headphones for music most of the time now), my belief is that if they're great for music, they'll be great for HT. That won't be true for everyone, but my goals for HT are detail, realism, and proper timbre/tonality. I'm not really after massive SPLs, so for me this theory works. That being said, tonight has been a revelation! I am slowly transitioning to sharing an apartment with a lady friend, and this is where the new little HT room will be. So I have the CG4s connected to an Onkyo stereo receiver for the time being. I let them burn in from 11pm Friday night all the way up through the time I got home tonight, which was around 8pm. I also decided to go ahead and bring my trusty Outlaw M8 subwoofer - and the Auralex subdude isolation riser, of course! - and introduce them to the RSLs. I've always just used some sort of processor or multichannel preamp that has a sub out on it, so this was my first chance to use the speaker ins/outs on the actual sub and try to dial it in. I got everything wired up, took a guess with the crossover at a little over 100hz, set the gain on the sub, and....WOW, talk about an impressive demo! Unlike Friday night, tonight far exceeded my expectations. I haven't fired up the M8 in several months, and I've never used it in this capacity, so I have to say that this just furthered my belief that this is easily the best "budget" sub I've ever heard. After some minor tweaking with the crossover point and the sub gain, I finally got it dialed in so well that I couldn't even really concentrate on what I was watching...I just kept LISTENING.

Don't get me wrong....the speakers are sounding much better now that I've troubleshooted a bit...but the star of the show tonight is clearly the Outlaw. I LOVE this subwoofer, and I highly recommend it to anyone in the market. I barely have the gain set to 1/8 of the dial, and that's as much as I need....this thing is a damn powerhouse. I'm in movie mode tonight, so going to watch The Raven (John Cusack) and then tomorrow I'll fire up some more tunes while Im watching football. Yesterday, I really thought I'd end up sending these RSLs back, but today I'm far more optimistic. I knew these were specifically designed to be used in conjunction with a subwoofer, but this is truly remarkable. There is still a fair bit of room for improvement, though....the gear will improve substantially, and I'll order some Plateau stands for the CG4s in a week or two to get them off this cabinet/bookcase thing. They are also a bit low compared to where my ears are since I'm listening from the bed, so the fact that they're already sounding this much better - and the fact that I'm getting AMAZING sound with the sub connected - bodes well for the future.

All I really wanted was a great set of speakers for movies....I think I may end up getting that, but also a rig that will be very nice for 5.1 music, as well. Still need to spend more time with them, but I'm pretty excited.  :thumb:

satfrat

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Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #16 on: 2 Dec 2012, 06:56 am »

All I really wanted was a great set of speakers for movies....I think I may end up getting that, but also a rig that will be very nice for 5.1 music, as well. Still need to spend more time with them, but I'm pretty excited.  :thumb:

Less we forget, only $1250 for 5 monitors and that's pretty great too (if they indeed are the HT bomb).  8)

Good luck & happy listening AJ.  :thumb:

Cheers,
Robin

ajzepp

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #17 on: 2 Dec 2012, 09:06 am »
Absolutely, the price is certainly right with these...if they can truly give me even more than great HT, then they'll be a fantastic bargain. I'm really looking forward to evaluating them even more critically w/out the subwoofer again. As much as I love how things have sounded tonight, I can't allow the sub to sell me on the speakers. Well, I supposed I can a LITTLE since they are, in fact, designed to be paired with a sub....but I still want to be sold on the merits of the speakers alone, and I think that's possible. It may even be "likely" after tonight :)  Friday night, I briefly felt the need to go back to the drawing board...perhaps consider the Ascend Acoustics that everyone has been telling me about....but tonight I feel there is hope that, once again, my research and patience has paid off...thanks for the support!

satfrat

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Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #18 on: 2 Dec 2012, 09:25 am »
Ya'know, I was looking over the RSL product line and I'm wondering why you didn't spend the extra $75 per speaker for the CG24, especially how you'll probably want one as a center down the road anyways. Dual woofers for lower 85 Hz frequency and a higher 90 db SPL sensitivity, I personally think it would have been worth the extra $75 for a more dynamic HT system. Just a thought,,,

Cheers,
Robin

ajzepp

Re: Rogersound Labs CG4 Speakers (coming soon)
« Reply #19 on: 2 Dec 2012, 10:27 am »
Ya'know, I was looking over the RSL product line and I'm wondering why you didn't spend the extra $75 per speaker for the CG24, especially how you'll probably want one as a center down the road anyways. Dual woofers for lower 85 Hz frequency and a higher 90 db SPL sensitivity, I personally think it would have been worth the extra $75 for a more dynamic HT system. Just a thought,,,

Cheers,
Robin

Good question...I really had to think about that at first...but it's mainly because the room I'll be using for this purpose is not very big. I live in an apartment, and while the isolation is quite good, I need to be prudent with volume levels. I was going to just add another CG4 in the center, but I will probably go ahead and get the CG24 for that role. Also trying to keep costs down, cause my main interest in picking up a reference quality screen. My initial plan was to just make this a headphone theater room, but then I thought better of it. Not everyone likes to wear headphones, so I changed that plan, but if I can keep it as close to the $1k mark as possible, I'm happy about that. I have the big mama Magnepans for my main rig...this is really just a little mini-theater that I wanted to put together since I enjoy a more intimate movie watching experience. I have been consulting with some folks who are heavily into projection, and they have shown me the light...if choosing between an inexpensive projector with a high quality screen and an expensive projector with a low quality screen, the first pairing wins hands down. So even though I'm not going to jump into a Stewart or anything like that, I'm going to invest in a reference quality screen to pair with my Epson projector I bought in 2011. I basically started off just wanting to throw some decent speakers in there, but I know myself and if I don't go with something of quality I'll start picking it apart lol. So the CG4s seem like they hit right in the sweet spot in terms of price:performance.