In 2013 DS Audio launched the world’s only optical phono cartridge, the DS-W1. A further-advanced flagship model, the Master 1, followed in 2016. Now, the company is launching a new entry level design: the DS 002, drawing on innovations from the Master 1 while offering a more affordable way in to optical cartridge technology.

The new DS 002 retains this same wider compatibility as the Master 1, as well as the basis of the Master 1’s technology – with its enhanced optical-mechanical system and wire-suspended cantilever, also delivering an output of 500mV and more with 25dB of separation. But to achieve its more affordable price point, the DS 002 sports an aluminium chassis, aluminium cantilever and Shibata stylus.

It also comes with a more compact and lightweight phono stage/equaliser, in which a newly-updated power supply features ten 33,000μF capacitors. The phono stage/equaliser uses  a special shielding that both isolates internal ‘noise’ from the power supply while also blocking external RF and other environmental interference. The shield is 1.5mm thick and covers the entire transformer.

On the rear panel is a pair of RCA outputs with a single cut-off below 30Hz by 6dB/oct and a second RCA pair offering the same but with an additional cut off below 50Hz by 6dB/oct – along with a ground socket and a pair of inputs.

Technical specifications

DS 002 optical cartridge

Body materialAluminium
Needle pressure1.6-1.8g (1.7g recommended)
Signal outputPhoto-electric conversion
Output signal level> 500mV
Channel separation> 25dB (@ 1kHz)

DS 002  phono stage/equaliser

OutputsRCA x 2
Rated output voltage500mV (@ 1kHz)
Dimensions310 (w) x 92 (h) x 235 (d) mm

Pricing & availability

The DS Audio DS 002 optical phono cartridge with phono stage/equaliser is available now, priced at £4,800 (inc. VAT).





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