DS Audio DS-W1 Optical cartridge and equaliser

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DS Audio DS-W1

Never have I heard a cartridge that can capture instrumental textures or vocal nuance, the skin of a drum and the air inside it, or the rasp of bow on strings as naturally and effortlessly as this. This isn’t the spot-lit presentation and bouncy bass of a typical high-end moving-coil: it is something altogether more delicate, more subtle, and (if you get it right) more real. The DS-W1 doesn’t pump up the drama or fatten up the bottom end. Instead it allows musicians and recordings to speak for themselves, in voices that are at once recognizable and authoritative. Its attack and pace give bass transients natural impact, and shorn of false weight and emphasis, its timing is sure-footed and agile.

If there’s a better cartridge for playing baroque or small ensemble music (classical, jazz or pop) I’ve yet to find it: if there’s a more believable cartridge when it comes to vocal reproduction, solo or choral, I’ve yet to hear it. Which makes DS Audio’s DS-W1 pretty special. There are cartridges with bigger names, cartridges with bigger sounds, cartridges that deliver more drama, and cartridges that also perform their own brand of transductive magic – but they all cost more than the DS Audio, especially when you take the phono-stage into account. Having said that, you might be trading your existing phono-stage for a new arm if you want to really hear what the DS-W1 can do: it’s well worth considering, ‘cos this cartridge really is that good.

Technical Specifications

Type: Phono cartridge with optical reading

Cantilever: Boron Rod

Stylus Profile: Shibata

Weight: 6.5g

Tracking Force: 1.5g

Compliance: 15cu vertical, 25cu horizontal

Output: 500mV (from matching PSU/equaliser)

Price: £6,250

Manufactured by: DS Audio

URL: www.ds-audio-w.biz

UK Distributor: Sound Fowndations

URL: www.soundfowndations.co.uk

Tel: +44(0)118 981 4238

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