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.
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.
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
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.
retail store "Music and Sound" around his
initials (mas), and because he
liked the symbolism of "music" preceding "sound".
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.
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
son Howard founded Camelot Technology
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.