Robert Grodinsky Research
The company made high end preamplifiers that were in some aspects much unlike what was emerging as the norm for high end audio products at the time, including having 2 phono inputs, each with variable loading, and the phono section sounded quite good for the time as well. The amplifiers also have a bright and clear sound quite uncharacteristic of USA made equipment from that timeframe but American audiophiles tended to favour dark sounding, slightly filtered equipment, perhaps due to noise problems with many LP´s and tapes put out at the time, this means that the sound of the RGR amps is more reminiscent of Japanese or German high end products of the 70´s than the new world equivalents. However early units got a reputation for shabby build quality although that appears improved as the years passed but perhaps more irritatingly from a modern perspective is the quality of some mechanical and passive components, with many of the older generation of designer there was limited no appreciation of the quality of passive components (a problem with Quad from a similar timeframe) the preamplifiers suffer from this problem more than the power amps but this also hampered the expanders that the company sold which were otherwise an ingenious design that often worked better than corresponding dbx corp. units even though Mr. Grodinsky lacked the financial clout that allowd dbx to design custom silicon.
The company disappears around 1980 but shortly afterwards a company called RG Dynamics shows up in neighbouring town of Skokie and more lately Mr. Grodinsky appears to be the primus motor behind State Technology Research.
Spares & service : No company specialises in servicing RGR products and although Mr. Grodinsky is still in the hi-fi business it appears that he is no longer able to provide any support. However there are no exotic parts inside these amps and even the knobs used are standard items still manufactured (or equivalents), most of the problems seen in the preamps are due to manufacturing faults, re-capping, re-soldering and replacing some of the passive parts and the RCA connectors would leave you with an amplifier that was functionally better than new. The power amplifiers have fared much better but there appear to be fewer of them around but most of them still operational.
Road Gear See --> Recoton
Roiene (Japan, loudpeaker drivers) See --> Isao Yamamura
Roland See --> Rotel
Rolling Stone See --> Recoton (Accessories only, 1998 to 2003)
Roman Audio Systems
Their speakers got a fairly good reputation amongst the online community particularly for their value for money while the subwoofers and the centre channel speakers were considered overpriced, but I have not been able to track down any reviews of their products amongst the established media. The company appears to have been established around 2001 and we lost contact around 2006 but the real time line is unknown.
Rose (Pro audio) See --> Kunhong
The idea to manufacture a radio in an urn was not as odd as it may seem at first, ceramics are actually better materials acoustically for loudspeakers than wood is, the design featured an upright firing loudspeaker that sounded through holes in the top side of the urn, while the radio controls are hidden at the top of the unit, underneath a hinged lid. The presence of the Bakelite control panel and associated electronics at the top, above the speaker actually enhanced the omnidirectional effect since it pushed the sound to the side where the holes were and for casual listeners an omni is actually preferable to a direct firing loudspeaker, especially if the listener is not in the same room as the device. In addition the company could make the urns in both a variety of glazes and also with all kinds of decorative print transfers at fairly low prices compared to what it cost to modify and paint wooden boxes.
The Rondo Zauberdose radio was a surprise hit in the marketplace, even in the severely depressed German economy of 1946 and managed to put the fledging LTP company on enough of a secure footing financially to enable the to move to bigger premises in Tübingen. The Radio was for all intents and purposes "invisible" and created a market that people had not often realised at the time existed, but the average radio at the time was furniture and often the focal point of a living room and the Zauberdose appealed to a customer base that simply did not want one of those in their rooms.
The company was however hit by a series of disasters, in 1948 the LTP company was shipped ten thousand urns from the Gutenhalde Potteries, that were to small for the radios that were meant to go into them, LTP never recovered from that and royalty payments to Rondo stopped overnight. Hr. Bürkle responded by getting East German contract manufacturers to make the radios for him and marketing them for himself, initially the Ernst Groß GmbH concern made them but by 1950 the manufacture had been moved to Ponti. Because the original design was fast becoming outdated in the quickly moving radio market of the late 40's the company tried to introduce a better model called "Wunderland" that had 2 lidless vases, one housing the radio and the other the loudspeaker and even offered a vase speaker as an extension loudspeaker for other radios, but these only sold in limited numbers.
However the loss of royalties from LTP meant that Rondo GmbH missed some loan payments and had to get loans from the state owned Landesgirokasse Stuttgart, when that bank started looking into the finances of the company and its owner, it became apparent that some securities that Bürkle had given for loans transpired to be worthless or non-existent. What followed became the political scandal of 1950 in Germany, Willy Bürkle was a politician that held several minor positions on local councils in the Baden-Württemberg area and was well connected not only with the local political parties and with the American occupation forces but also in the Soviet controlled east. He had received huge loans from the LS bank and had used them to buy and found a number of companies in the transportation, building, textile and food industries, however as the example of the Gutenhalde Pottery and the 10k incorrect urns showed, they were all rather inexpertly managed. In fact all of them were run at a loss with the sole exception being Rondo and a company called "Nährmittelfabrik Willy Bürkle" that made nutritional supplements and vitamin pills. To mask the deep losses at his other companies Hr. Bürkle transferred money from NWB to his other companies by issuing fake invoices.
When he started defaulting on loan payments in 1950 it transpired that the LS bank had refused to give him the loans but their decision was overridden by the local government of Stuttgart who where the banks ultimate owners. When the companies were made insolvent one by one, the Landesgirokasse Stuttgart managed to convince the courts that since the Stuttgart local authority had overridden their decision on the loans in the first place they were de facto guarantor of the loans and the City of Stuttgart ended up having to re-pay the bulk of them since the liquidation of the Bürkle group returned very limited cash to the creditors. Thus the fall of Rondo and its sister company managed to end or severely hamper the carriers of a number of local politicians.
Rostbo See --> Kunhong (Pro audio)
This coupled with the fact that the company sold a wide range of small loudspeaker drivers intended for TV's, small loudspeakers and other consumer electronics but eminently suitable as a low budget alternative to car audio loudspeakers meant that the store became increasingly known for their car audio line-up and had by the early 90's become more or less a car audio specialist. Disappears in the early/mid 1990's for reasons unknown.
Russco Electronics Mfg.