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 as a keen amateur making his own audio equipment.
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 improved 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.
The people who make these products, and have been for most of the last 17 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.
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.
HiFi System Components are definitely worth your consideration when choosing new high fidelity equipment to improve your listening pleasure.
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)