Roger Alan Modjeski (RAM) 1951 - 2019

It is with great sadness that I announce Roger A. Modjeski passed away peacefully in his home in San Pablo, CA after an 12 month battle with cancer. Roger started Music Reference in 1981 and later RAM Tubes, The Tube Audio Store, and The Berkeley HiFi School. For more than 38 years he tirelessly ran his business and designed some of the most unique and well received audio components in the industry. Right until the near end Roger was working, designing, and teaching until he physically was unable to continue.

The link below will take you my playground where I have posted my tribute to Roger (click ENTER after the page loads):

Fare thee well my friend.
That would be the RM9 SE. It does use 6 x 6BQ7 for the driver tubes. Like the MkII the amp had the fuses mounted on the top plate with LED indicators that lit up and indicated which output tube triggered the fuse to blow. There were also a number of test points on the amp to allow one to see the status of the tubes, but you needed to be comfortable using a voltmeter to run the tests. There was also a bias and balance adjustment. Roger made 20 of these amps and only 3 remain including his personal RM9 SE (Roger kept one piece of every amp he made).

What most people know about the RM9 is the amp can be used with EL34, KT66, 77, 88, and 6550 tubes. What most people don't know is Roger made a one off that used the 6L6 which pushed the power output past 250 watts per channel (stock RM9s cannot use this tube). It also featured a gloss piano black frame. Sadly it has sat in its box in the shop for quite some time.
@clio09 ,

I am saddened and shocked to hear of Roger’s passing. I’m a relatively recent fan of his work, and of his personality. He was brilliant, and also quite a character. I enjoyed reading everything he wrote.. how he wrote it.. whether I agreed with how it was written or not (I usually did). I purchased a NOS RM-4+ phono preamp with five additional passive inputs built in a little over a year ago, and it still makes me smile every day I listen to music. I bought some RAM tubes from Roger as well. I also picked up an older RM-10... it’s stunningly good. It’s actually difficult to wrap one’s head around how good it is since the big, open, detailed, punchy sound belies the diminutive stature of the amp! I am not on the hunt for am RM-200 to drive my Maggies. It seems from everything I’ve read, and from my experience with the two products I now own, that everything Roger put his hands on turns to gold. I’m glad I discovered Music Reference, I’m glad I got the chance to communicate with Roger (and Tony), and despite the fact that I’d never met him face-to-face, he’s the type of person that even with only phone and email communication, it feels like I know him. Rest In Peace, and may your legacy continue on. Jerry
I meant to write “ on the hunt for an RM-200...” Typos, ugh
Nice one Jerry.
Clio09, I didn’t know he made the 6L6 version either. When did he do that, and why? If you want to sell it, I’d take good care of it! A bit of Roger in the house would be lovely. I’ve got an idea about how he got 250w out of 6L6s safely. Knowing a few of his circuits, it doesn’t surprise me really.
I wonder what happened to the other 17 RM9 SEs?
@ndevamp, Roger kept getting requests for a more powerful amp. Although he tried hard to educate people on the concept of power and specifically RMS ratings most of what he said fell on deaf ears. Roger always preferred to use tone bursts to gauge power, he played the RMS game because he had to. So as per his methods, Roger wanted to see how far he could push the RM9 and found the 6L6 tube to be the perfect tube to get more power out of it. However, as he was prone to do on occasion, Roger got distracted and forgot about this project for quite some time. It wasn't until we found the box in one of the moves that it jarred his memory.

However, another project that did not materialize to the extent of the 6L6 RM9 was a suped up RM-200 that was a monoblock design using the same frame as the RM-200 and a modified top plate. In this design there would be 3 KT88s per side and I think another pair of drivers. We actually brought one of the models to the Newport show a few years back. The design was intended to be the RM-300, 300 watts per side, and it garnered a lot of interest. We have the schematic and it is definitely something we might revisit.

As for those other 17 RM9 SEs they made it into the hands of happy customers. Three left and no more after that.