Jade Design Buys Sherbourn

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Franklin, Tenn - Jade Design, the ODM/OEM developer of home and professional audio products, has purchased Sherbourn Technologies and plans to expand the home-audio brand's selection to include all of the components of a two-channel audio system and a home theater system, excluding displays, said Jade president and owner Dan Laufman.

Jade has the resources to take what Laufman called a "profitable, well-run" brand to the "next level of competitive capabilities" while "preserving the integrity of the brand," Laufman told TWICE.

Sherborun's current lineup consists mainly of amplifiers, including two-channel, multichannel, and multizone amps, but it also offers a tuner, AV preamp/processor, and AV receiver.

Jade, which also owns direct-to-consumer audio supplier Emotiva Audio, said it will continue to market Sherbourn products only through custom installers.

Sherbourn president and founder Ron Fone will remain with Sherbourn as director of sales. Fone has held key management positions in the audio industry since the 1970s and was president of McIntosh and Acoustic Research. Fone will continue to work out of Massachussets, but Sherbourn's remaining sales, marketing and technical staff will move to Tennessee from their Billerica, Mass., offices.

In the next three to six months, Jade will add in-room speakers and powered subs to the Sherbourn line as well as architectural speakers optimized for home theater use. Jade is also developing a reference CD transport and a Blu-ray player for Sherbourn. And at CES, Sherbourn will show new AV receivers and preamp-processors that incorporate the brains of a Control 4 home-control system. The C4 technology also enables the components to control a multiroom-audio system when connected to an external switcher.

Eventually, the company will expand its architectural-speaker lineup to include distributed-audio speakers, Laufman told TWICE.

The Control4 products were originally shown at last year's CEDIA Expo under Jade's then-planned Emotiva Professional brand, which was to be targeted to customer installers. Those plans were shelved once Jade found that Sherbourn was open to a purchase, said Laufman. Jade will "continue to grow Sherbourn's presence in the custom market while re-directing the Pro name for a different sales channel," added Fred Hartman, Jade's director of OEM/ODM sales. He didn't specify the channel.

Over the next year, all Sherbourn products will transition to Jade-designed models.

Jade started as an ODM/OEM developer 13 years ago but ventured into selling products direct to consumers under the Emotiva brand six years ago.In the future, Laufman said he wants to focus even more on his own brands "to realize a product vision" rather than simply design products for other companies.

Sherbourn Technologies will display products at Control4 booth 21407 at International CES.


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