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Sherwood Electronic Laboratories was one of the first true, "High-Fidelity" manufacturers of the United States. When the stereo boom started at the end of the fifties Sherwood was already well established, having won a position as specialists on FM tuners. The company was founded in 1953 by engineers Ed Miller and John Snow to produce advanced hi-fi amplifiers. Even if I have not had this confirmed there are indications that the Sherwood enterprise was, to some deggree at least, based on the former Radio Craftsmen company.

The Sherwood products were slimmer than their competitors Fisher and Scott, and had beautiful enamel fronts and knobs where the others had square, stark metal fronts. Their main product lines were tuners, integrated amplifiers and receivers (tuner/amplifiers). Speakers were also marketed under the Sherwood name.

In the beginning we got our shipments from the U.S., but after a while mr. Hoffmann in Frankfurt stepped in as their European agent. This worked fine, he was also an agent for Klipsch and SAE. I visited him in Frankfurt and we cooperated on modifications on the Klipschorn dividing network, to better suit the "European" taste of sound.

The former Sherwood factory in Chicago.

When the transistor era set in Sherwood - like most of their competitors, gradually moved the production to the Far East, soon loosing control of their company. As also happened to Fisher, Scott and Marantz.

After a few years it was obvious to us that Sherwood could not prevail in our inventory, mainly because they had not yet matured to the particular safety regulations that existed in Europe and Scandinavia at that time (NEMKO/SEMKO/DEMKO), but also because we in the meantime had experienced a considerable success with the marketing of the ROTEL brand, which took over more and more of our marketing efforts. Their European distribution being run by Rank in England they had a clear understanding, and ability, to conform to the various European electrical standards.

Sherwood was big in multi-channeling. Many of their units had SQ quad-circuitry or separated decoders and also provisions for feeding a designated center channel amplifier or a mono center channel speaker. Of the "big three" (Sherwood, Fisher and Scott), it was Sherwood that first went back to specifying down-to-earth power ratings - continuous full-range power in 8 ohms.

Edward S. Miller, Sherwood's general manager watches as Chicago FM station WKFM owner throws switch for first FM stereo multiplex broadcast along with background multicasting. Sherwood supplied the equipment.
(June 18th, 1961) 

We imported almost exclusively receivers. A large proportion of these were the top-of-the-line models, the S-7900/8900. These sold retail for NOK 5500/4500. The cheapest model, the S-7100, sold for approx. 2.400,- NOK.

Personally, I was very fond of the Sherwood products. They had a clean, non-cluttered design and superior FM tuners! Their SEL-300 FM tuner stands apart and I am constantly looking around for one of those. The last models Sherwood made in the U.S. were the S-7900/8900's. I have a couple of those!

Alas, the main tube era was over when we first came into this business. Only solid-state Sherwoods were therefore imported by us. Today, however, my major interest is collecting tube-equipped Sherwood equipment of all kinds.

Sherwood now has a firm position in Europe, mainly in the Home Theatre electronics field - the brand name is now owned by the Haitai Electronics Company of Korea. Again, multi-channel receivers and amplifiers are their main sellers.

Some milestones in the Sherwood story:

  • Established 1953 in Chicago by Edward S. Miller and John Snow.
  • In 1961 the worlds first FM-stereo broadcast utilized Sherwood equipment.
  • Sherwood manufactured the worlds first 100% solid state receiver in 1967.
  • In 1973 Sherwood introduced the worlds first digital readout FM tuner - the SEL-200.
  • In 1978 production shifted to Korea to better be able to compete with other brands.
Some pictures
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