EMM Labs of Canada has released their new optical cartridge equalizer, the DS-EQ1. The EMM labs DS-EQ1 is fully compatible with DS Audio optical cartridges.

When Ed Meitner of EMM Labs made the decision to dust off his extensive vinyl collection, he was interested in finding out what the current state of vinyl playback was. During his research, he became intrigued with DS Audio’s optical cartridge technology and their customers’ experiences.

The EMM Labs DS-EQ1 works with all DS Audio optical cartridges

DS Audio Optical Cartridges

Initiating a collaboration with Tetsuaki Aoyagi, head of DS Audio, Ed purchased the W2 optical cartridge for development and was impressed during his preliminary listening experiences. Compared to his reference MC cartridge, he found that the W2 exhibited improved resolution, clarity and low-frequency response. This motivated Ed to dive back into the world of vinyl playback, resulting in the first EMM Labs optical equalizer, the DS-EQ1, designed exclusively for interfacing with DS Audio optical cartridges.

Upon receiving the full line of DS Audio cartridges, Ed immediately recognized a common sonic signature within the line, increasing in its degree of refinement and depth from the entry-level E1 to the flagship Master1 cartridge.

Custom Ceramic PCB

The DS-EQ1 is designed with a desire to lower noise and distortion, and to extract every bit of detail and information from any DS Audio optical cartridge. The DS-EQ1’s circuits are all Meitner designed in-house, including its power supply, and are optimized for short and direct audio paths. EMM uses a custom made ceramic PCB for the equalization and amplification stages.

Class A Amplification

From its proprietary equalization, class A amplification, and power supply systems, to its touch panel buttons and  aluminium chassis, EMM Labs say that the DS-EQ1 is the ultimate partner to any DS Audio optical cartridge.

“I found developing the DS-EQ1 both extremely interesting and highly satisfying. It was an honour to work on this project in close collaboration with DS Audio. I now find myself improving and appreciating my vinyl collection on a daily basis with DS Audio optical cartridges and the EMM Labs DS-EQ1 optical equalizer.”, says Ed Meitner.


Inputs: RCA

Stereo analogue outputs: XLR & RCA

Output impedance: Balanced XLR – 300Ω, Single-Ended RCA – 150Ω

Output Levels: XLR Output – 1V (+2.2dBu), RCA Output – 0.5V (-3.8dBu)

Finish: Fine bead blasted silver or black

Dimensions: W x D x H: 438 x 381 x 102mm

Weight: 12kg

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