A Brief History of RSL Speaker Systems & Rogersound Labs
RSL (Rogersound Labs) started building speakers in 1970. We felt that by selling factory direct and eliminating the profit the dealer and distributors make, we could save the customer a lot of money. In addition, it allowed us to use better quality parts and still keep prices low. As most customers wanted to buy their entire hi-fi in one place, we also offered matching stereo components. We made sure our salespeople were honest, knowledgeable and would never work on commission. At the time we were planning our first models, speaker design generally fell into two categories; East Coast sound and West Coast sound. The East Coast sound was represented by brands like AR and KLH. These were air-suspension speakers that had a smooth response and appealed to audiophiles. The West Coast Sound was represented by brands such as JBL and Altec. These speakers placed emphasis on certain areas of the midrange and bass. Normally, a person would like one type and not the other. We actually saw the validity of both approaches. As a result, we introduced 2 lines of RSL Speakers for fans of both the East and West Coast sounds. We built these speakers in the back room of our small store at 5706 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood (now known as ‘NoHo’), California. We even wound our own crossover coils with a machine that my father made from my mother’s old Singer Sewing Machine. News of our small speaker company spread fast. One day, one of the record producers from nearby Warner Brothers Records came in to listen to our speakers. He was impressed and had to have a set. When he told his friends, they told their friends. Soon RSL Speakers were seen in record companies throughout Southern California. So, it was only natural that we develop models that were specifically studio monitors. They became very popular and evolved over the years. Today people are still enjoying the speakers they purchased from us 50 years ago. In three years, we outgrew our little shop in North Hollywood. In 1973, we moved to a larger building on Van Nuys Blvd, in Van Nuys. Around that time, we designed one of the first high fidelity car speakers. The RSL 44 was a 6″ x 9″ speaker with a tweeter in the middle. By 1979 we had 3 locations and outgrew our Van Nuys headquarters. We decided to buy a new building and relocate our headquarters in Canoga Park. Then a recession hit. It was a difficult time for the entire industry as sales plummeted. During that time we designed the very first high-fidelity outdoor speaker and called it the RSL Outsider. It was quite successful and helped us weather the economic storm. By 1984, we had recovered and added video components. With the introduction of video projectors and laserdisc players, the home theater industry was born.