With over 60 combined years of experience, Camelot Technology, Inc. is in the unique position of knowing at first-hand those components and accessories desired by the audio, video, and home theater industries and its customers.
Camelot Technology, and its predecessor, Music and Sound, have always been family-owned and operated. As designers, manufacturers, distributors, and dealers, Camelot's team, headed by Mel Schilling, co-founder and CEO, along with his son, Howard, co-founder and President, are setting quality, reliability and affordability standards recognized throughout the industry.
- History -
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mel and Howard Schilling of Music and Sound (mas) saw digital technology not only fundamentally changing the industry they had helped create, by rapidly re-shaping the way people purchased and experienced audio and home theater, but also radically and permanently changing the world. They realized that only those who embraced it and, more importantly, understood it, would thrive in the new millenium. Those who couldn't, would limit their ultimate potential by losing exposure to ideas and technologies that were changing the world around them.
At that time, most designers and manufacturers of high-end consumer electronics specialized in analog technologies, manifested in traditional products such as amplifiers, preamplifiers, turntables, and loudspeakers. This was not because they didn't see digital technologies receiving stunning amounts of commercial and retail attention and investment. It was mainly because they, quite simply, didn't have the technical expertise to understand it and thereby profit by it. Many companies suffered, and perished, as the high-end stumbled through this ruthless evolution.
At mas, the Schillings embraced this change and quickly began developing products to address it. They developed the revolutionary "DCC-1" Digital Control Center, the first high-end preamp that addressed the oncoming "Media Center" concept. With its multitude of features including digital inputs and video switching capabilities, the DCC-1 quickly received much consumer and critical acclaim.
As digital technology continued to evolve and raise the bar on the bedeviled high-end community, the Schillings concluded that their industry, and more importantly, its customers, could mightily use a benchmark-type company that could be relied upon to understand all of the latest technological advancements and create products that utilized them in a productive way. A longtime mythology buff, Howard Schilling drew a direct parallel to this need from the ancient concept of "Camelot". Camelot represented a place where each citizen could sleep soundly in the kingdom's castle, protected against tyranny by the mightiest of armies, ensuring each citizen of his own fair portion of happiness and justice.
With that philosophy in mind, the Schillings aimed to create a company that people could rely upon to provide state-of-the-art solutions in any economic and technological climate, offering maximum return on their investment.
Hence, Camelot Technology was born...
Camelot Technology's state-of-the-art products have, over the years, included DAC's, DVD Players, Jitter Reduction Devices, Resolution Enhancement Components, AC Power Cords, Video Cables, Analog Interconnects and Speaker Cables, along with a variety of audio and video accessories. Camelot Technology has consistently received acclaim from consumers and critics for not only its products, but also its customer service, industry status and awareness, and overall attention to detail, all of which, true to its philosophy, the business represents as much as anything else.
- In 1992, Camelot Technology designed and manufactured the industry's first Battery-Powered Digital-to-Analog Converter, the Arthur v1.0.
- In 1998, Camelot Technology designed and manufactured the industry's first high-end Progressive Scan DVD Player, The Round Table, which into 2003 continues to set the standard for products in its category.
- For the past several years, Camelot Technology's Sir Percival PM-500 and Sir Bors PM-600/650/750 A.C. Power Cords have dominated the competition in the ultra-competitive Japanese high-end consumer electronics market.
Among the many of the world's top consumer electronics publications to consistently praise Camelot Technology and its products throughout its ten-year history, are:
Bound for Sound
Stereophile Guide to Home Theater
Consumer, industry, and critical acclaim did not come overnight.
Mel Schilling, Camelot's co-founder and CEO, started in high fidelity in 1947, building amplifier and preamplifier kits while in high school. At the same time, he took piano lessons which fueled his keen interest in music. Later on, he studied piano at the Philadelphia Musical Academy under the world-renowned Helene Diedrichs, and attended Temple University to further his musical education. In 1952, Mr. Schilling started to give piano lessons to earn a living. This continued until 1968 when he purchased the retail store "Lectronics" of City Line Center, Philadelphia which was then owned by Irving M. Fried of IMF Loudspeakers and Fried Loudspeaker fame.
He named his retail store "Music and Sound" around his initials (mas), and because he liked the symbolism of "music" preceding "sound". As a retailer, Music and Sound pioneered the start of the then non-existent "high end" industry. As the first USA dealer for Audio Research Corporation (a brand which went on to dominate high-end audio), Mr. Schilling's association with its founder William Zane Johnson helped gain critical industry recognition for the unknown product line. His "spreading the gospel" also helped establish the acceptance and credibility of ARC's tube equipment with hordes of consumers across the country. Mr. Schilling also similarly helped two loudspeaker companies called Magnepan and Infinity (both of which also went on to fame and fortune), establish themselves within the hi-fi market. Mr. Schilling also, via his contacts with the owner/editors of various industry publications, brought recognition to other unknown brands by arranging reviews and evaluations of their products.
In 1975, Mr. Schilling moved to Los Angeles where he opened another retail store under the name of "Music and Sound of California". All of the valuable franchises which he had represented in his Philadelphia store followed him, despite some of them already having established dealers there. His sterling reputation and credibility within the industry led these manufacturers to risk upsetting their local distribution in order to be included in the new Music and Sound. Music and Sound of California attracted many movie and television stars and other high-profile clients at a time when that type of business rarely materialized in high-end audio and video. Today, of course, such clients are common in our industry, even often looking at our products first when deciding where to invest their disposable income. Music and Sound of California continued to help establish many new companies and products within the marketplace, and even acquired one company, Electro Research, whose products Mr. Schilling felt to be truly exceptional. Electro Research went on to produce such legendary products as the EK-1 Preamplifier and A75 Amplifier.
In 1981, after the industry began to grow rapidly and cause more "experts" to enter the marketplace as so-called high end dealers, the type of "audio salon" operation Mr. Schilling had helped to create began to change character, and Mr. Schilling decided to leave the retail world and enter the manufacturing and distribution end of the industry. After many successful ventures in that sector, he and his son Howard founded Camelot Technology in 1991.
All told, throughout its glorious 13-year history, Mel Schilling and Music and Sound helped to pioneer the high-end audio/video industry and its products, while offering to his clients unique and invaluable guidance on product and system evaluation delivered with one-on-one attention. Music and Sound continually set new standards for customer service, as its hundreds of customer recommendation letters will attest. Music and Sound played a major role in the US introduction of brands such as Audio Research, Magnepan, Infinity, Nakamichi, Linn, B&W, and Polk, among others, and established the concept of high-end audio and video to thousands of consumers across the country and the world, who in turn passed their newfound love, appreciation, and knowledge of this wonderful pursuit of excellence down to successive generations who now fuel the digital revolution.
As an analogy, often many former star athletes of yesteryear rightly claim that today’s multi-million dollar athletes owe much of their success to them, the athletes who popularized the games that they now profit from. In this regard, Mr. Schilling’s dedicated and tireless carrying of the torch of high-end audio and video laid an essential foundation for the industry’s many evolutions to come, by providing, at its veritable inception, critical credibility to the concept of high technology and valuable innovation in consumer electronics.
Howard Schilling, Camelot's co-founder and President, enjoys a similarly superb reputation among audio/video enthusiasts and the industry. Howard, too, developed profound insights into state-of-the-art products during his earlier career as a floor salesman catering to entry-level through high-end customers.
With knowledge gained from personal contacts among consumers, dealers, manufacturers, and distributors (as well as, of course, his lifelong experience inside Music and Sound), he rapidly rose to executive positions while representing several noted companies since his "official" start in the industry in 1989.
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