24. May 2021 · Comments Off on DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge · Categories: Hifi News · Tags: , , , , , , ,


Japanese high-end brand, DS Audio, has released the new DS Audio DS003 optical cartridge.

The third generation of DS Audio’s optical cartridge features a comprehensively re-designed optical system.

DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge

the DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge


The new DS Audio DS003 optical cartridge system has been optimized, by implementing an independent LED and photo-detector arrangement for the left and right channels. As a result the cartridge output voltage has greatly increased from 40mV to 70mV. Despite this increase in output, the signal to noise ratio that DS Audio optical cartridges are known for has not been compromised.

DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge

the DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge is the third generation

The DS Audio DS003 cartridge offers a greatly improved S/N ratio when compared to its stable mates, resulting in an even lower noise floor. In addition to this, the new independent design of the DS003 cartridge has made it possible to eliminate crosstalk, greatly improving left and right channel separation (in particular the high frequency separation has improved by10dB in comparison to its DS Audio predecessors).


There has been a 50% weight reduction in DS Audio’s new reshaped, solid beryllium shading plate. The implementation of independent left and right channel LED’ s allows for the positioning of the optical system to be optimized as well as necessitating the use of a new shading plate that has been significantly reduced in size compared to the earlier designs. In addition to this reduction in size, the material used to produce the shading plate has changed from aluminium (as used in the second generation cartridges) to 99.9% pure beryllium. As a result of this, DS Audio succeeded in reducing the weight of the shading plate by more than 50%, from 1.56mg to 0.74 mg. This is less than 1/10th of the mass when compared to the core and coil system found in a typical MC (moving coil) cartridge and further improves one of the key advantages of DS Audio’s optical cartridge technology, which is a very low effective mass.

DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge

The weight of the DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge has been reduced


The DS AUDIO DS003 cartridge features a combination of an aluminium cantilever with a line contact stylus. The cartridge is made by aluminium and the body structure has been designed in such a way as to promote maximum rigidity. In addition to these features, the DS003 utilizes internal wiring 1.6 times thicker than used in the second generation cartridges in order to reduce impedance.

DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge

Side view of the DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge


Compared to the DS Audio DS002 equalizer, the thickness of the circuit board has been changed from 1.6 mm to 2.0 mm, and the thickness of the copper foil has been changed from 35 µ to 70 µ. In addition, the DS003 equalizer allows you to select the cutoff frequency for the low-frequency range from four types, allowing you to select an output that better matches your system.

DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge

The DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge equalizer


DS 003 Optical Cartridge

Signal output: Photo-electric Conversion

Channel separation: 27db (1KHz)

Weight: 7.7g

Output signal level: 60mV (1kHz cartridge output)

Cantilever: Aluminium

Body material: Aluminium (A5052)

Cantilever holder material: Stainless

Needle pressure: 2.0g~2.2g (2.1g is recommended)

Stylus: Line contact

DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge

Inside the DS AUDIO DS003 Optical Cartridge equalizer

DS 003 Equalizer for Optical Cartridge

Output voltage: 500mV (1kHz Equalizer output)

Output impedance RCA: 120Ω

Pre amp input impedance: More than 10kΩ

Input terminal: RCA terminal

Output terminal: RCA terminal×2

Size: W33cm×H9.2cm×D29.5cm

Weight: 5kg


The DS Audio DS003 optical phono cartridge with phono stage/equalizer is available now, priced as follows (inc. VAT):
DS003 cartridge & equalizer package: £4,995
DS003 cartridge only: £2,298
DS003 equalizer only: £3,147
DS Audio cartridges are fully compatible with any of the company’s accompanying phono stages/equalizers, allowing you to mix and match.

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