About Us / About Our Products

Graham Slee, BBC mixing desk designer whilst senior engineer at Audionics Ltd (originally Radio Hallam), began his audio career in 1970's disco.

 
Broadcast Desk

One of a number of broadcast desks featuring Graham's design work

Trusted in the design of analogue audio and control electronics, he also contributed to notable projects with Cable & Wireless Group, Siemens Medical, Granada and Central Television.

Moving on to pursue freelance design work in hi-fi since 1993, Graham became disillusioned with hi-fi methods, what was passed off as engineering (and the arrogance), and decided to found his own hi-fi company in 1998. Since then he has been manufacturing high fidelity products based on high-end broadcast audio techniques, skilfully assisted by ex-broadcast technician John Cadman.

Graham insists on total quality control, rejecting the use of far-eastern produced circuit assemblies which have become commonplace in numerous British, American and European products. All electronics in his products are hand soldered and built by his experienced British team using British made printed circuit boards of his own design.

The fact he had worked in most branches of electronic manufacturing prior to becoming senior engineer means he has valuable knowledge of the electronics industry. This enables his products to be made to the highest standards of performance whilst making them within the financial reach of more customers.

This is helped because of his insistence on making all-out sound quality the number one priority, rather than spending the customer's money on pointless decoration. He is also highly critical of hi-fi marketing techniques designed to grab customers money through misinformation.

Most of all Graham wants the customer to hear just how real reproduced music can sound, and spends his time researching and developing improved techniques which lead to that end. An example being his Accession phono stages which deconstruct existing equalisation thinking, and instead EQ the cartridge and record as the separate items they are.

About Our Products

Our products are designed to give you the best listening pleasure available. Better than all the rest at, and beyond their price points. This is our mission, a mission started by Graham Slee, and one that continues to push at the scientific boundaries of the art.

Only you can judge for yourself if we have achieved our goal: it is not to give you a specification to boast about, or a fashion statement to show your friends. It is to let you experience the ultimate in pure music reproduction - music reproduced in all its glory - music as those who record it hear it.

In doing so we do not follow trends. We will not do as others do. If we did the results would just be more of the same. We think you want something different - something better - more involvement in your music.

It is not achieved by using a particular component or set of components, as many have been convinced to believe. This is not how it is done. But it can be very hard to undo the industry's brainwashing techniques.

But when your music is being reproduced in such a way that it is all immersing, that you forget about the equipment and stop caring about its visual appearance. When you listen to entire albums rather than cherry picking your favourite tracks. When it's so compulsive you forget about time and stay up late for that one last album. That's when you know everything is right.

But how many can say that? Is your mind questioning if there is better? Then it's time to act.

The Acid Test - How to Audition

Do you really know how to test for the best? It is quite simple, but it depends on you being given the time you need with the product.

You need two weeks and you should have it switched on the full two weeks, even when you're doing something else and it's not playing.

Instead of choosing your "special effects records" you should just play your favourite music, and as much of it as you can during your audition period.

You must not do any comparisons at all for the entire period.

You must then send back the product (or products) you have been auditioning. Get them right out of your life!

Then continue to listen to your favourite music using your existing equipment. You will instinctively know what to do, or not do.

It's that simple!

Go to this page to see if there is a loaner program near your location.

Made in Britain means made in Britain!

Did you know that most of Britain's last resident Hi-Fi manufacturers buy larger and larger proportions of their products (if not all) from China, the far-east, and other "convenient countries"? Even the "British declaration" could have been printed by some far-east operative. You might think it OK?

Whilst they are able to sell by the carload they're OK. They can pay the vast amounts of corporation tax on their imported stock through the sheer profit they make. But think what would happen if their sales reduced sufficiently? They would be in default (defunct). Your guarantee would be worthless. Where's your back-up? And it's not just the big ones. The small ones soon catch on, but they're the most vulnerable.

HiFi System Components Ltd are among a handful of British manufacturers (maybe 3 or 4, yes, so few) who manufacture in Britain and source the majority of what's inside from British manufacturers and suppliers.

Information source: CompanyCheck.co.uk (stock; current ratio; liquidity/acid-test figures)

We make some of the best high fidelity products you will ever hear

HiFi System Components Limited is a successful microbusiness with just three workers dedicated to producing the best sounding high fidelity products at their price points and beyond.

On the design side is Graham Slee who has a strong reputation in delivering wonderful sounding electronic circuitry time after time.

He has worked professionally in electronic design since 1982, and before that making audio equipment as DJ/disco engineer and keen amateur.

Our products must be capable of reproducing all kinds of music so it communicates properly with the listener. It's called professionalism. The musicians put on a show for you when they record, and our products should recreate that show for you perfectly, otherwise it's just noise.

In 1998 he established the forerunner to HiFi System Components, Graham Slee Projects, known to many as GSP-Audio.

His first products were vinyl-focused and were launched the following year, and very quickly earned him his reputation in excellent sounding hi-fi. These early products have been further refined (and most still available!) and newer designs added to the line up.

Each design has brought a further enhancement to the sound, or as Graham prefers to say "makes it sound more natural or true to life".

He has much to say about the differences between high fidelity and hi-fi: terms which are often used interchangeably as they are in our company name.

Graham makes the distinction that hi-fi took a different path and is all out to impress and make music sound different to what the musicians intended, a sort of anything goes extravaganza; whilst true high fidelity reproduces music as music really sounds.

He insists that high fidelity taken to his extremes, properly reproduces music in a way the vast majority of people would prefer, if only they were able to hear it.

With help from his able supporters on his audio forum he established a loaner program to enable people to do just that.

His difference of opinion with the hi-fi industry came about after working four years in professional broadcast audio design, and then for less than two years as a freelance R&D engineer with a hi-fi manufacturer, by which time he'd had enough.

The broadcast audio signals (then all analogue) had to sound good after being routed through literally miles of cables, jack-fields, radio transmission modulation and then the users radio receiver or tuner.

In his opinion hi-fi isn't superior and would sound awful if it had to negotiate such a signal path. In Graham's opinion, broadcast audio techniques developed by him to sound even better, soundly thrash those used in hi-fi. True high fidelity is eminently more listenable than much which passes off as hi-fi.

His growing following agree. First and foremost they use their hearing to judge, and there are now somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 customers, based on the number of products sold since 1999, approximately 50,000 items.

 
Individually hand assembled circuit board

Individually hand assembled circuit board

The people who individually hand make these products, and have been for most of the last 20 years, are John Cadman and Leon Kirkbride. Both had long careers in professional audio manufacturing before joining GSP-Audio.

Like Graham, John also worked in professional broadcast audio constructing some of the best possible on-air audio designs demanded, and ultimately tested, by state broadcaster the BBC (some of which Graham had designed).

He was also singled out as the best wireman, and was entrusted in terminating thousands of on-air interconnections involving an unimaginable number of miles of cabling. He also fixed Henry Kelly's microphone at Classic FM who bought him a coffee and a bun!

John is also our product tester and no product can get past him until it meets the full test specification. He uses two state of the art Audio Precision analysers, both on manual and automated testing to ensure every design value is met on every single product.

He also deals directly with our customers and has been congratulated numerous times on his great customer service, as reported on a number of forums.

 
Quality of workmanship inside a Majestic DAC/Pre

Quality of workmanship inside a Majestic DAC/Pre

Leon (Leo) Kirkbride was QC engineer with the original Carlsbro Sound, involved in the manufacture of amplifiers, guitars and speaker cabinets used by touring bands. He has a broad knowledge of all kinds of audio electronics circuitry, and has been an audio hobbyist since his teens.

Leo is fastidious about build quality and the products he assembles lasting the course, as any QC engineer worth his salt would be.

Having built several audio projects and even having cloned a number commercial designs (including Graham's Solo headphone amplifier before joining the team!), Leo knows a thing or two about how things sound.

He has a keen ear for what sounds real and what sounds false and a low threshold for the latter, and often assists in listening tests where he doesn't mince his words if something doesn't quite hit the spot.

 
A consignment of headphone amplifiers destined for China

A consignment of headphone amplifiers destined for China

HiFi System Components are definitely worth your consideration when choosing new high fidelity equipment to improve your listening pleasure.

Reviews

Talk about Graham Slee and you think of small phono and headphone amplifiers of excellent audio quality... But, and many of you will know my BBC background, I remember spending many a lonely night working in Bush House sitting in front of one of the mixing desks he made whilst working as senior engineer at Audionics. In those days the BBC ushered quality and precision. Graham Slee has continued that zest for making the best since then, with his own projects under the label GSPAudio (Now HiFi System Components Ltd).
Janine Elliot (audio reviewer)

There's a real English gentleman I'd like you all to meet. Assisted by two talented engineers that build the products... he's gathered a following all over the world without much fuss or a big advertising budget. I've been a fan of Graham Slee for at least seven years and I should tell you why. In my experience, his products are absolutely reliable, very well priced and upgradeable, but more than this, they sound wonderful, fully competitive with much more expensive units. In 2004 I bought a Graham Slee Solo headphone amp and a Graham Slee Era Gold V phono-preamp and they've been my references ever since..
Phil Gold (audio reviewer)

 

A Little More Detail

Established in 1998 as Graham Slee Projects. Graham Slee's electronics career began back in 1974. First he worked in AV, then (1982) printed circuit design, electronics manufacturing, high-fidelity research and development, and broadcast audio design where he became a senior engineer with commercial radio broadcaster and BBC studio contractor, YRN PLC (Audionics division of Radio Hallam).

Among his earliest audio interests was DJing in his spare time at the peak of disco in the mid '70s. It started his interest in developing his own mixers and amplifiers. This experience was built on throughout his electronics career making him a talented designer of high performance high fidelity equipment.

John Cadman now looks after the day to day running here at HiFi System Components Limited having joined Graham Slee Projects in 2004. He is a talented production engineer who also has a broadcast audio background working on BBC and commercial broadcast projects again with with YRN PLC.

He is also a bass guitarist with a strong interest in musical instrument electronics having built numerous amplifiers and signal processing units.

Leon (Leo) Kirkbride joined us in 2007 after working as quality control engineer at musical instrument and amplifier manufacturer Carlsbro Sound. His audio electronics knowledge and experience plus manufacturing capabilities further ensure our products are manufactured to the exacting standards we are renowned for.

He also is a "golden eared" prolific audio electronics hobbyist with a keen interest in digital and computer audio.

HiFi System Components Limited became the new name for Graham Slee Projects in 2015.

We are a small but highly experienced team specialising in high fidelity equipment manufacture, and we're consistently motivated by the desire to deliver nothing but the best sounding products to our customers.