Our Past

Sweetwater got its start in 1979 as a professional 4-track recording studio. At that time, Sweetwater founder and owner Chuck Surack was recording albums for musicians and composing jingles for area retailers. But he and the rest of the folks at the studio had the same problems that musicians around the world had been having for decades: where to find the gear they needed at reasonable prices, and where to get dependable advice from people who actually knew what they were talking about.

Chuck explains, "There seemed to be no music retailers who offered it all. Some had good prices, but didn't carry the items we needed. Others had an impressive selection of products, but they were often overpriced, and the salespeople were less than knowledgeable. On top of that, if we happened to buy a product that wasn't right for our needs, it was painful or often impossible to return the item for a refund or credit. And when we had equipment that needed repair, we were often told that it had to be returned to the manufacturer. Since the studio was our livelihood, we just couldn't afford such lengthy delays."

Thinking that there had to be a better way of doing business, Chuck put together a company based on the kind of sales, service, and product support he'd been looking for in a retailer — a company dedicated to building long-term, one-on-one relationships with its customers.

Our Present

Today, Sweetwater offers products from hundreds of the best manufacturers in the music business — brands such as Avid, Roland, Marshall, Yamaha, Fender, Gibson, and many more. And nearly all of the products we offer are in stock in our massive, climate-controlled warehouse.

Our Sales Engineers all have real-world studio, gigging, and/or MIDI experience. Plus, they train a minimum of three hours each week on the latest gear, so they're familiar with all the newest hardware and software. They take the time to listen to customers' specific needs, and they ask the right questions before recommending the perfect products to fill those needs, at down-to-earth prices. In the unlikely event a Sweetwater purchase ever needs service, we offer a free 2-year warranty on nearly everything we sell, and our Technical Support department is factory-authorized to do repairs on most of the products we carry.

Sweetwater has been built from the ground up to be a great place to do business with, as our well over a million customers can attest. We've also built an amazing headquarters, outfitted with great employee perks and benefits, complete with an employee fitness center, a food court, three Russ Berger-designed studios, a state-of-the-art auditorium (also designed by Russ Berger), a racquetball court, a DVD lending library, and a game arcade complete with virtual golf. And because of our continued growth, we once again have plans to expand the facility! Needless to say, this is an awesome place to work!

The Sweetwater Difference

At the heart of Sweetwater's success lies a concept called the Sweetwater Difference. That's not an empty phrase to Sweetwater employees — we live it every day on the job. What is the Sweetwater Difference? It's more than just an attitude; it's an action plan for every task. Perhaps most simply put, it's a commitment to do the right thing for every one of our customers. That's why we pledge to always provide the following:


When a customer buys from Sweetwater, he or she has the advantage of an extensive team of professionals for support, now and in the future.


Every customer is treated ethically and with a long-term perspective; we want customers for life.


We hire the best and train them better than any other retailer. We use our in-house studios and Performance Theatre to test new gear, and our Sales Engineers have hundreds of years of combined practical experience.

Ready to join our team? Awesome!