By Alex Brady
This month’s Dealer Spotlight focuses on one of the Netherlands’ leading audio stores, Audio21, and their new location, which, it’s safe to say, does not look like your typical hifi shop!
Mark van Braam opened his high end store, Audio21, in 2012, and until six months ago, it was based in the woods of the nature park, The Veluwe. Mark’s speciality is in advising his customers on how they compose their audio systems. He has been passionate about music for his entire life. He owned a turntable from an early age, and when he turned 16 he did not ask for what the typical 16 year old Dutch boy asked for – a moped. No, Mark simply asked for a bigger audio system! Unlike his friends, Mark continued using his bicycle for the school commute!
Whilst Audio21’s original location was in a beautiful setting, the continued success of the business meant that space was at a premium. This issue was exacerbated by the size of some of the components and speakers that Mark had on demonstration. As a result, Mark started to look for larger premises that had that sense of individuality for which Audio21 was synonymous – he was not interested in Audio 21 moving into ‘a typical shop front! Happily and surprisingly, it did not take Mark long to find the perfect location for Audio 21’s new home. An original City Hall located only a few villages away became available – Mark’s dream location! As the pictures illustrate, the building was full of character, charm, history and charisma. Crucially it also had the necessary space that Audio21 required for demonstration purposes. When Mark first viewed the property, it only took him a matter of seconds to say ‘YESSS!’ to the property. Mark has since spoken with a wry smile about ‘Audio21 Mk2’.
The new location has high ceilings and comes with old ornaments, antiques, chandeliers and exudes old fashioned but tasteful ‘chic’. The building was built in 1884 and was the first City Hall of the town of Heerde. The beautiful and large entrance area is perfect for showcasing Audio21’s audio collection. There are two listening rooms (35m2 and 48m2), the larger of which was the Council Chamber of the city council from 1884.
Regarding the audio brands that are showcased in this beautiful location, Mark and Audio21have always dared to think ‘outside the box’. You will find many well known brands but also some less well known brands, which can’t easily be found in other Dutch, Belgian, and German stores. Almost all the systems are connected with Nordost – yes, Mark loves quality! Besides Nordost, brands on demonstration include Davone, Trenner & Friedl, Gold Note, Jadis, Estelon, MasterSound, Termporal Coherence, Kuzma, Pathos, and Transroter. Mark was both proud and excited in 2019 to become an exclusive retailer for Gryphon.
Audio21 is open Monday through Saturday, but only by appointment on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. This way, Mark can ensure that he gives is clients full and personal attention. And do not be surprised to find Mark’s Moto Guzzi parked in one of the listening rooms!
The word ‘Epicurean’ is applicable to Mark. He loves music, sings in a jazz choir, and regularly attends live concerts. He also loves motorcycling and traveling across Europe with his beloved wife in their vintage campervan.
Audio21’s new Heerde location is centrally situated in the Netherlands and is easily one of the most beautiful audio shops in the Benelux region. Find out for yourself by paying a visit to Audio21, where Mark will treat you to great music and delicious coffee!
8181 HS HEERDE – the Netherlands
0031 6 260 48 506