In 2013, Japanese DS Audio unveiled the world’s only optical phono cartridge, the DS-W1. A series of even further advanced models soon followed, ranging from the flagship DS Master 1 to the (then) entry level DS 002.

The new DS-E1 therefore features the same optical-mechanical system and wire-suspended cantilever as the flagship DS Master 1, as well as the midrange DS-W2 and the DS-002. The system enables a high degree of channel separation – more then 24dB, and delivers an output of more than 500mV.

DS-E1 sports an aluminum cantilever and elliptical stylus. The cartridge body is machined from aluminum. The accompanying DS-E1 equalizer / phonostage employs an operational amplifier at the heart of its amplification circuit, greatly reducing the number of components required. This also allows the unit to be considerably more compact and lightweight – around one third of the size of the DS-002 equalizer. Each DS-E1 cartridge and equalizer / phonostage is manufactured by hand in DS Audio’s own premises in Sagamihara City, Japan.

The DS Audio DS-E1 optical phono cartridge with phono stage/equalizer is available now, priced at £2,295 (inc. VAT).

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