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DS Audio

DS Audio has upgraded optical phono cartridges, completely changing the world of vinyl record music reproduction. DS Audio is a division of Digital Stream Corporation, which, together with Microsoft, developed the first optical mouse. Using their expertise in optics combined with modern technology, DS Audio engineers perfected the phono cartridge. DS Audio offers a complete line of optical turntable transmissions and matching turntable equalizers.

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DS Audio D-003 Cartridge

D-003 Cartridge

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2,400.00  VAT included

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DS Audio D-003 Equalizer

D-003 Equalizer

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3,500.00  VAT included

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DS Audio DS Grand Master Cartridge

DS Grand Master Cartridge

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12,000.00  VAT included

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DS Audio DS Grand Master Equalizer

DS Grand Master Equalizer

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40,000.00  VAT included

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DS Audio DS Master 3 Cartridge

DS Master 3 Cartridge

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8,000.00  VAT included

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DS Audio DS Master 3 Equalizer

DS Master 3 Equalizer

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18,000.00  VAT included

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DS Audio DS-E1 Cartridge

DS-E1 Cartridge

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1,200.00  VAT included

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DS Audio DS-E1 Equalizer

DS-E1 Equalizer

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1,200.00  VAT included

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DS Audio DS-W3 Equalizer

DS-W3 Equalizer

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8,750.00  VAT included

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DS Audio ES-001

ES-001

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5,500.00  VAT included

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DS Audio Grand Master Extreme Cartridge

Grand Master Extreme Cartridge

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20,000.00  VAT included

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DS Audio HS-001

HS-001

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450.00  VAT included

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DS Audio ION-001

ION-001

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1,700.00  VAT included

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DS Audio PH-001

PH-001

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2,000.00  VAT included

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DS Audio ST-50

ST-50

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80.00  VAT included

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DS Audio DS-W3 Cartridge

DS-W3 Cartridge

|

3,750.00  VAT included

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DS Audio has upgraded optical phono cartridges, completely changing the world of vinyl record music reproduction. DS Audio is a division of Digital Stream Corporation, which, together with Microsoft, developed the first optical mouse. Using their expertise in optics combined with modern technology, DS Audio engineers perfected the phono cartridge. DS Audio offers a complete line of optical turntable transmissions and matching turntable equalizers.

Advantages of optical DS Audio transmissions include a reduction in noise and weight that is superior to that of conventional MM and MC transmissions. Since there are no magnets in the optical transmission, there is no magnetically induced distortion typical of MM or MC transmissions.

Phono preamplifier or equalizer from DS Audio

Why is the circuitry of an optical cartridge phono equalizer different from that of an MM/MC?
Transducers such as speakers, microphones and pickup cartridges are divided into two types such as “velocity proportional type” and “amplitude proportional type”. Transducers based on electromagnetic induction, such as MM/MC pickup cartridges and cutting head, are of the “speed proportional type”. If the driving voltage is constant throughout the frequency, the width of movement of the cutting head decreases while the input frequency increases. It is the same way as the movement of the diaphragm of a magnetic loudspeaker. When you reproduce this groove using MM/MC pickup cartridges, the output voltage increases while the groove frequency increases, but the width of the groove decreases while the groove frequency increases. As a result, the output voltage is constant throughout the frequency. These are the basics of cutting and reproducing vinyl records.

On the other hand, transducers such as optical and capacitor pickup cartridges are of the “proportional amplitude type”. When you reproduce a groove cut by a “proportional velocity” cutting head with optical sensing cartridges, the output voltage decreases while the groove frequency increases because the groove width decreases while the groove frequency increases. If you are designing your own phono equalizer circuit for cartridges with optical pickup, be aware of this difference. When actually cutting vinyl records, the input signal is reduced in the lower frequency range so that the groove is not too aggressive, and is amplified in the higher frequency range so that the groove is not too quiet. With this pre-processing, the groove widths are kept nearly constant throughout the frequency range. As a result, the physical sounds caused by the surface roughness of the material become almost constant and longer playing time is possible.

In the reproduction process, the lower frequency is reduced and the higher frequency is reduced to compensate for the cutting characteristics. With this additional processing, a flat frequency response and a good signal-to-noise ratio are achieved. These are the basics of a phono equalizer, and the “RIAA” standardized the equalizer curve for vinyl records in 1954. It is now an interim decision to refer to the cut equalizer curve as the “RIAA Inverted Equalizer” because the reproduction equalizer curve is generally referred to as the “RIAA equalizer” in the consumer audio market.

Do we need high-pass filters in the subsonic frequency range?
Distortion of the platters and low-frequency resonance of the tone arm generate subsonic frequency signals that can cause intermodulation distortion in the amplifier or crush the woofer in the speaker. Since the optical pickup cartridge is an “amplitude proportional type” transducer, it is theoretically possible to reproduce the signal down to DC (0 Hz) in the low frequency range. Therefore, the optical transducer cartridge is somewhat critical to this problem because it has a subsonic frequency response. MM/MC sensing cartridges are less critical because the generation efficiency in the subsonic frequency range is reduced. To avoid these problems, a subsonic filter would be useful. Since the time constant and order of the filter depends on the distortion of the recordings and the tone arms, determine the optimum values for your system.

About DS Audio’s internal optical pickup cartridge connection.
The internal connection of DS Audio optical pickup cartridges is shown as follows. In the 2nd generation sensing cartridges such as “DS Master1”, “DS-W2”, “DS002” and “DS-E1”, a single infrared LED is used as the light source for both PD channels. In 3rd generation sensing cassettes such as ‘Grand Master’ and ‘DS003’, separate infrared LEDs are used as the light source for each PD channel individually. As a result, the output signal from the 3rd generation sensing cassettes is amplified compared to the signal from the 2nd generation. If you wanted to optimize your phono equalizer for 2nd generation capture cartridges, additional gain would be desirable.

Optical Transmission/Cassette

Basic optical cartridge principle
The difference in detection principle between an optical cartridge and an MM/MC cartridge is that both the MM/MC cartridge and the optical cartridge read the groove of the record through the needle, but a conventional MM/MC cartridge detects the music signal by vibrating a magnet (or coil) in a magnetic field. Optical cartridges, on the other hand, detect musical signals by picking up shadow changes (changes in brightness) using LEDs and PDs (photocells). Because MM/MC cartridges generate electricity by cutting off the magnetic field, magnetic resistance is always created when the magnet (or coil) moves.

However, the optical cartridge only detects a change in brightness (shadow movement), so no magnetic resistance is generated when the vibrating system moves. Because there is no magnetic resistance acting on the vibrating system, the needle tip can move smoothly. This is the main advantage of optical cassette technology. To detect musical signals, the MM/MC cartridge must move the magnet or core and the coil. However, in the case of optical cartridges, it is enough to move the light shielding plate with a thickness of only 100 microns, so the moving mass is very low.

What is the detection principle of an optical cartridge?
The optical cassette detects the needle movement using an infrared LED, a shielding plate and two PDs (photodetectors). The working principle is simple, the shielding plate vibrates in front of the LED and the PDs (photocells) behind it sense the change in brightness.

When the groove of the plate vibrates (inclined 45 degrees), the vibration is transferred from the needle tip to the bracket and the shading plate vibrates together. Since the shield plate vibrates in such a way that it blocks the light of the front LED, the brightness entering the PD (photocell) changes continuously from light → dark → bright → dark. When the photocells detect changes in brightness caused by movement of the recording groove, the output voltage changes accordingly. The movement of the shadow plate will be sensed as 2 separate stereo channels, by two independent photodetectors.

The angular movement of the shield plate ensures that each photodetector can only capture information from its corresponding channel. Information from the parallel movement of the opposite channel is not read, ensuring accurate channel balance and channel separation. Since the brightness of the photocell does not change as the movement of the shield plate becomes a parallel movement on the side of the opposite PD (photocell), it is possible to detect the audio signals of the left and right channels using a single shield plate. This basic principle of detection is exactly the same as that of the photoelectric cartridge 40 years ago. The important point is that the output of the PD (photocell) is pure analog sound, because the movement of the shielding plate = movement of the recording plate will be manifested as a change in voltage. It is NOT digital sound.

Who is the DS Audio brand suitable for?

Considering the product range of the DS Audio brand, it is more or less certain that it is primarily for fans of turntables and their unsurpassed appetite for discovering ever-innovative improvements. DS Audio therefore offers a complete range of optical turntables, from the basic E1 system to the flagship Grand Master. All DS Audio optical transmissions achieve optimum performance with DS Audio phono preamplifiers. Equally worth mentioning are the DS Audio accessories, which include a stunning needle cleaner, a cartridge mounting body and last but not least, a unique ioniser that neutralises and removes static charge from vinyl records.

What to expect from DS Audio products

  • Resistance to noise and crackling of vinyl records
  • Dynamics
  • Solid sound
  • Excellent clarity
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