DS Audio introduces DS003 optical cartridge

Japan’s DS Audio is releasing a new addition to its third generation of optical cartridges in the form of the DS003, an update of the DS002 incorporating innovations from the company’s more expensive flagship Grand Master.

DS explains: “like the Grand Master, the new DS003 features a comprehensively re-designed optical system. Its independent LEDs and photo-detectors for the left and right channels deliver a significant increase in the cartridge’s output voltage, from 40mV to 70mV… achieved without compromising the signal-to-noise ratio; in fact the ratio has been further upgraded, giving the DS003 an even lower noise floor and greater musical clarity than its predecessors.”

The company also claims the new design has eliminated crosstalk: “greatly improving left and right channel separation, particularly at higher frequencies”.

Featuring a smaller shading plate than its predecessors, made from 99.9 percent pure beryllium, allowing for a 50 percent weight reduction, down to 0.74mg: less than a tenth of the mass of a moving-coil cartridge’s core and coil system, the DS003 marries an aluminium cantilever with a line contact stylus. The cartridge’s body is also aluminium, designed for maximum rigidity. Internally, the wiring is 1.6 times thicker than in previous models, in order to reduce impedance.

In common with all DS Audio optical cartridges, the DS003 requires its own phono stage. The new design here includes a thicker circuit board (increased from 1.6mm to 2mm) and thicker copper foil (previously 35μ, now 70μ). In addition, the DS003 equaliser enables selection from four low-frequency cut-off points, allowing the user to select the output that best matches their system.

The DS Audio DS003 optical phono cartridge with phono stage/equaliser is priced at £5,000, the cartridge alone is £2,300 and the equaliser £3,150.

Available to buy now, you can find out more about the DS Audio DS003 here.

DS Audio