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ROTEL-: When did Roland star/stop making their equipment?


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On a RA 1312 Rotel amp (and other Rotel gear from the 70's) I have seen "A quality product of Roland electronics" and on the same model

"Quality Hi Fi Stereo components-The Rotel co"

 

Roland must have made the equipment for Rotel but does anybody know when this arrangement started or ended or anything else about it?

Thanks in advance.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the 70's Rotel were in bed with a British consortium called Rank. Rank had a lot to do with Rotel's presence in certain European markets as Rank understood the legal requirements,especially in the UK,  while some of the other Japanese companies at the time seemed more concerned with the US market.

 

However I'm still not sure about the "Roland" name though and I'm a HUGE 70's Rotel Man!!! ;)

 

ATB

Tase.

Edited by Tasebass
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I have a fair idea that they are different companies. Have a look here:

http://www.thevintageknob.org/tvk_talk/viewtopic.php?f=1477&t=2395

Far as I've been able to work out, Rotel was manufactured by the family owned Roland Electronics Co Ltd from its foundation in 1962-3.

Roland DG Corporation (the instrument maker) was founded in 1972:

http://www.roland.com/about/en/group_japan.html

http://www.roland.com/about/en/history.html

But as the first-linked article indicates, who is who in Japanese audio is a very confused picture

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  • 2 weeks later...
Rotel was originally called Roland Electronics until around 1971 when they made a push to expand worldwide—they realised they couldn't trademark the Roland name overseas, so they changed it to Rotel. They never had anything to do with Roland DG.

 

Most sources online (including Rotel themselves) will tell you that Tachikowa-san founded the company in the 60's, but it goes back further, to the 50's when he was the Japanese distributor and assembler for Sylvania TV equipment. It merely became an audio company in the early 60's, when he won over the Americans with his efficient, reliable, competent operation and started OEMing on contract for Scott, Marantz, Harman Kardon and other American brands, growing the OEM business throughout the 60s and 70s.

 

The company only started making its own Rotel-branded products in the late 60s.

 

What makes Rotel rather unique is its UK connection, initially with that odd British conglomerate, the Rank Organisation. Rank distributed Rotel gear and Rotel manufactured gear for their Leak and Wharfedale brands. By the late 70's/80's Rotel had UK co-headquarters with English designers designing Rotel components in a more Occidental fashion with the focus on strong power supplies, simple signal paths, etc, and that's the Rotel that we know today (which Alex Encel has had so much success with in Australia.)

 

Although it's easy to ignore Rotel because of its general focus on simple, good-value equipment, it's actually a rather unique company, becoming a kind of Anglo-Japanese hybrid over the years. From the outside it looks like they made a lot of good business decisions. And you could call it one of the few intact survivors of the 20th century Japanese audio story—although B&W owns it, Bob Tachikowa, heir to the throne, still runs the company from its Tokyo and UK HQs.

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