By Steve Greene
Very few small to mid-size cities are fortunate enough to have both a nationally renowned record shop and a fantastic high-end audio boutique. Allentown, Pennsylvania is one of those very lucky cities. The two stores are located adjacent to each other, so it is easy to visit both in one trip! I’m talking about Nordost dealer, BEK Hi Fi, which shares a building with Double Decker Records, rated one of the top five pre-owned records shops in the US!
BEK Hi Fi started out several years ago as a home-based audio boutique business. However, in 2013, after manager Erik Konigsberg graduated from college, a decision was made to open a brick-and-mortar store with Erik running the day-to-day operations of this business. What a great decision that turned out to be! Erik’s approach has been to establish a comfortable and accommodating venue in which his customers can audition audio gear at their leisure with a “no pressure” sales approach. Potential customers travel from both the surrounding Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia, about an hour away, for the opportunity to audition BEK’s fine lines in this very comfortable setting. His customers are very appreciative of both his expertise and accommodating demeanor, which many have related to me on my visits to this audio oasis. Erik also possesses the advantage of having well-tuned, youthful ears, which means he is quite adept at auditioning any gear he considers for display in their store. In order for any new gear to make it to the show floor it must first pass his critical audition for great sound quality and great value!
Erik and his father, Barry, have just completed a renovation of the store, including the addition of a second, nicely appointed sound room. This has greatly expanded their demo capabilities. Erik has utilized comforting earth tones along with some cool art to the walls and has added some tasteful mid-century modern furnishings. The rooms have very comfortable seating so that you can audition speakers and gear in a relaxed, home-like setting. Erik has a very wide selection of music available for you to use during auditions, and you can, of course, bring your own. Over the past seven years BEK Hi Fi has expanded their audio mix to include a wonderful assortment of premier audio gear. This expansive list includes, among several others, Devore Fidelity, Harbeth, Sonner Audio, Oswalds Mill Speakers, Luxman, Line Magnetic, Audio Hungary, Chord Electronics, Moon by Simaudio, Brinkmann Audio, Rega, Dynavector, Kiseki, Ortofon, Innuos, and of course, Nordost! BEK is authorized for our Leif Series, Norse 2 Series, Valhalla 2, our QRT products, and our great accessories. Make sure to ask for a demo (particularly of our new QPoints)! Please note, visiting this shop is a great opportunity to audition — and buy! — many different brands of gear. Then you can walk next door and peruse the vast selection of pre-owned vinyl that Double Decker Records has to offer! I purchased two LPs myself on my most recent visit to call on Erik. Visit BEK Hi Fi’s website to find all their contact information, especially so you can set up a convenient audition time. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday, so please make sure the next time you are in eastern PA, you drop by to visit Erik and his wonderful store!
808 St. John Street
Allentown, PA 18103