Part of the transition plan since Sherbourn Technologies was acquired by Jade Design before the turn of the year has been to broaden the high-performance audio component line’s appeal among the custom integrator community. Explained company president Dan Laufman, “We want to become a go-to line – a line that installers will look to for end-to-end solutions. And the product package we are working on will make us more relevant, to that end, to our dealers.”
At the 2011 CES, the brand was an exhibitor within the Control4 booth, and plans on being just down the corridor from Control4 but in its own space at CEDIA 2011 in Indianapolis. “We believe that Control4, for our price points, represents a natural automation partner. Their HC-200 controller integrates with our product” – a design element that has been “well received” by Control4 dealers, and one that could serve to bring some of them into the Sherbourn dealer fold.
Control4 technology is featured in the PT-7020C4 7.1 processor/controller ($2,499) along with drivers for iPad and iPhone integration, and the SR-120C4 7.1 media receiver ($3,499) Both components are HDMI 1.3a-compatible, with host of installer-friendly features and are due to ship in June, according to Laufman.
Meanwhile, in the process of being engineered for projected shipment in the third quarter is a line of speakers – the first ever under the Sherbourn brand banner. It will include two models of full-range reference towers, a center channel, three-way surrounds and an active 15-inch, 2,000-watt subwoofer system.
The company may also offer a Blu-ray player but, in light of the ubiquity and growth of streaming, is still considering that approach; a media streamer is already in development for audio, added Laufman. The company’s long-term developmental thinking is about “how to fit into the streaming world,” he said.
To boost brand recognition, Sherbourn is planning to launch a consistent advertising campaign in print and on line in major audio and home theater publications. In early May, the company will also initiate a new, tiered dealer program with associate and premium levels, which will benefit dealers the most who do more business with the company.
Laufman said that Jade Design’s years of OEM experience under its belt has given it the ability to “find the right balance in cost and performance with no sacrifice. We know that you have to be dead reliable and bulletproof to be successful in the custom integrator arena.
“We’re looking to give our dealers a step-up brand that is a little more exclusive and won’t be on Amazon,” said Laufman. “We want to give them a high-quality solution – a limited-distribution product with stronger warranty support and hands-on dealer support. There’s a definite need in the market for that.”