Download Sweetwater Sound Driver

HeadquartersFort Wayne, Indiana
Chuck Surack (founder), President/CEO
John Hopkins, COO
Jeff Radke, Chief Sales Officer
Greg Clark, CFO[1]
David Stewart, CMO[2]
Doug Wood, Chief Administrative Officer[3]
ProductsMusical instruments, Recording equipment and accessories
Revenue$805 Million (2019)[4]
Number of employees

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Sweetwater is the largest online retailer of musical instruments and pro audio equipment in the United States, based out of Fort Wayne, Indiana.[6]


Chuck Surack established the company in 1979 in Fort Wayne, Indiana so that he could stop being a touring musician. The company originally offered recording services via a remote recording studio in Surack's Volkswagen microbus and a recording studio based out of his home.[7] When the Kurzweil K250 programmable keyboard and sampler was introduced in 1984, Surack became known for his custom K250 sound library and programming skills as well as his upgrade kits. Surack became a Kurzweil dealer, but his clients were asking for advice regarding other products as well. Surack expanded Sweetwater to become a music retailer whose emphasis was pre- and post-sale customer service. By 1990, with 6 employees and annual sales of $6 million, Sweetwater had outgrown Surack's home and moved into its own commercial building,[8][9] and Sweetwater's growth over the next several years earned it a place on Inc.'s ranking of America's fastest growing companies in 1993, 1994, and 1995.[10][11][12]

While the company's website was initially launched in 1995 as an informational site, by 1999 the site offered most of Sweetwater's inventory for purchase online.[13]Electronic Musician included as one of nine essential online information resources for a musician.[14] In addition to its music store, Sweetwater has several publications, including the ProGear Directory, Worship Sound Pro,[15][16] and Music Educators Technology Resource.,[17] and a blog, inSync.[18]

In 2009, Sweetwater was given the LEED Platinum Award by the U.S. Green Building Council, for the 'environmentally friendly' construction and management of the company's corporate headquarters.[19] Music Inc. named Sweetwater 'Retailer of the Year' in 2012 and again in 2020.[20][21]

Sweetwater sound music


Sweetwater's campus includes its corporate offices and distribution center, along with recording studios, two performance venues, a music academy, a retail store, and numerous customer and employee amenities.[22][23][24]

In 2006, with 220 employees and continued business growth, Sweetwater commissioned MSKTD & Associates, Inc. to design and master plan a new 44-acre corporate campus. The new headquarters, consisting of corporate offices, a distribution center with warehouse, and a retail store, also included the Sweetwater Studios recording studio complex and 250-seat LARES-equipped performance theater, both designed by Russ Berger Design Group.[25][26] Sweetwater's new facility was certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council in April, 2009.[27]

In October 2018, Sweetwater announced another expansion[28] to construct a new warehousing facility. Completed in early 2020, the 480,000-square foot distribution center facilitates product storage and customer order fulfillment, as well as product testing, product photography, offices, staff amenities, and more, while more than doubling the shipping capacity of the Sweetwater's previous warehouse. An additional structure, planned to begin construction in 2020 will house a new 35,000-square-foot conference center and banquet hall with room for up to 1,000 people. This new addition to the company's campus will accommodate continuing education sessions for employees. The facility will also be available for members of the community to use for other events.[29][30][31]


Sweetwater contributes to more than 600 nonprofit organizations annually,[32][33] including charitable donations to Fort Wayne Community Schools,[34] Arts United of Fort Wayne,[35] the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra,[36] Easter Seals ARC of Northeast Indiana,[37] and the Voices of Unity Youth Choir.[38]

See also[edit]



  1. ^Ferrisi, Dan. 'Sweetwater Promotes Greg Clark to SVP/CFO'. Music and Sound Retailer. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  2. ^Brown, Alex. 'Sweetwater Names New Exec'. Inside Indiana Business. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  3. ^Green, Lisa. 'PNC executive Wood to join Sweetwater'. Journal Gazette. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  4. ^Shelley, Jonathan. 'Another record year for Sweetwater caps decade of growth'. Fort Wayne's NBC. Fort Wayne's NBC Television, Inc. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  5. ^'Sweetwater Sound celebrates another record year, looks for more in 2019'. News-Sentinel. 16 January 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  6. ^'Ranking the 40 Largest Online Retailers' (Volume 166, No. 7). The Music Trades Corporation. Aug 2018.
  7. ^ProSoundNews, Mar 2008. Web Bonus Chuck Surack Founder and President
  8. ^Matt Ottinger, Biz Voice Magazine, Mar/Apr 2008 Sweet Sounds of Success: Music World Takes Note of Fort Wayne Company
  9. ^The Music Trades, Feb 2009, 'How Soft Selling Powers Growth at Sweetwater'
  10. ^ 1993 Inc. 500: The Fastest Growing Private Companies in America
  11. ^ 1994 Inc. 500: The Fastest Growing Private Companies in America
  12. ^ 1995 Inc. 500: The Fastest Growing Private Companies in America
  13. ^Internet Archive. Wayback Machine. Archived results for starting from 1996.
  14. ^Electronic Musician. Gary Yelton, Jun 2005 Nine Essential Online Resources
  15. ^Abbie, Stancato. 'Sweetwater Music Caters to Christian Musicians & House of Worship Community!'. Rocking God's House. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  16. ^Mitchell, Karen. 'Sounds Like Worship Audio Education'. Pro Sound News. Future plc. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  17. ^'Sweetwater Acquires Assets Of Music Instrument And Equipment Retailer'. Electronic Musician. Future plc. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  18. ^Ferrisi, Dan. 'Sweetwater Defends Proprietary Web Content'. The Music & Sound Retailer. Testa Communications. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  19. ^U.S. Green Building Council LEED for New Construction Document, Sweetwater Headquarters
  20. ^Alkyer, Frank (December 2012). 'Sweet Success'(PDF). Music, Inc. 23 (11): 32–33. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  21. ^Tornow, Sam (December 2020). 'The Sweetwater Difference'. Music, Inc. 31 (11): 20–23. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  22. ^Kavilanz, Parija. '40 years ago, he built a recording studio in a VW bus. Today, he runs a $725 million music empire'. CNN Business. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  23. ^Electronic Musician, Jun 2015. Sweetwater Expands and Enhances Music Store
  24. ^Eggertsen, Chris. 'Spotlight: Chuck Surack of Sweetwater Sound Launched an $800M Retail Operation From His Home Studio'. Prometheus Global Media LLC. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  25. ^Modern Steel. Joshua Snyder, Nov 2010 Ecologically Sound
  26. ^Russ Berger Design Group. Sweetwater
  27. ^LEED for New Construction Document, Sweetwater Headquarters
  28. ^'Sweetwater to add 1,000 jobs, new facilities'. Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  29. ^Kuhn, Michael. 'Sweetwater unveils new $52.5M distribution center'. Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^Wissmuller, Christian. 'Chuck Surack of Sweetwater Sound: 2018 Recipient of MMR's Annual Don Johnson Industry Service Award'. Musical Merchandise Review. Timeless Communications. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  33. ^Arsenault, Charlene. 'Chuck Surack: The Founder of Sweetwater Sound Gives Back to the Community that Nurtured Him'. Musical Merchandise Review. Timeless Communications. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  34. ^'Sweetwater Donates $500,000, More To Schools'. Pro Sound News. Future plc. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  35. ^'Sweetwater Founder Supports Local Arts, Music Trades, Oct 2012, p. 54
  36. ^Embassy Annual Report, 2012, p. 12
  37. ^'Suracks give $150K endowment to Easter Seals Arc', Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, Jun 2013
  38. ^Rodriguez, Rosa Salter (17 November 2015). 'Voices of Unity begins $1 million fundraising campaign'. The Journal Gazette. The Journal Gazette. Retrieved 7 December 2018.

External links[edit]

  • Chuck Surack Interview NAMM Oral History Library (2013)
SystemsDownload Sweetwater Sound Driver

Sweetwater Sound Chicago

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