DS Audio 003 optical cartridge

scot

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2018
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Hi everyone

I know it was just released recently but I was wondering if any one has had a chance to hear DS Audio’s new 3rd generation $6000.00 optical cartridge yet? Model is the 003. Fremer said that the entry level cartridge was amazing at $2750.00. Thank you.

Best regards
Scot
 
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Addicted to hifi

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Hi everyone

I know it was just released recently but I was wondering if any one has had a chance to hear DS Audio’s new 3rd generation $6000.00 optical cartridge yet? Model is the 003. Fremer said that the entry level cartridge was amazing at $2750.00. Thank you.

Best regards
Scot
I haven’t heard it but they are very highly regarded.
 

Jambo

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Apr 15, 2015
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Scot, If you get the latest Oct 2021 HiFi News (UK mag), Ken Kessler does a very nice review of it, compares to top of the range DS Master.
 
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scot

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Jan 4, 2018
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Hi Jambo

Thank you for letting me know about the HiFi News DS003 review. I’m curious to hear what he thought. I know he loved the Grand Master cartridge. Are you a vinyl guy and if so, which cartridge (s) do you own?

I just bought a new Kuzma 4point tonearm (11” version) and I need to buy a cartridge that will work well with that arm. There are just so many great cartridges to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming. Budget is up to 10K.
 

Addicted to hifi

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Sep 8, 2020
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Hi Jambo

Thank you for letting me know about the HiFi News DS003 review. I’m curious to hear what he thought. I know he loved the Grand Master cartridge. Are you a vinyl guy and if so, which cartridge (s) do you own?

I just bought a new Kuzma 4point tonearm (11” version) and I need to buy a cartridge that will work well with that arm. There are just so many great cartridges to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming. Budget is up to 10K
koetsu cartridges are stunning and definitely worth a look at.
 

Cableman

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Dec 27, 2013
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I have the entry level DS Audio cart and their next to top W2. I can’t rate them highly enough in comparison to others I’ve experienced, in terms of price versus performance. Yup. They were both that good.
 

Mcsnare

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Apr 2, 2022
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Hi everyone

I know it was just released recently but I was wondering if any one has had a chance to hear DS Audio’s new 3rd generation $6000.00 optical cartridge yet? Model is the 003. Fremer said that the entry level cartridge was amazing at $2750.00. Thank you.

Best regards
Scot
I have an 003 in for review. It’s very good. It’s astounding with an EMM DS-EQ1 decoder box.
 
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Gandra

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Feb 11, 2013
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I've had this cartridge for more than 3 months now and think it is amazing. Clearly better in terms of resolution, dynamics, soundstage portrayal than any of my other cartridges, which include Koetsu RPS, EAT No 8, Benz LPS and Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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I've had this cartridge for more than 3 months now and think it is amazing. Clearly better in terms of resolution, dynamics, soundstage portrayal than any of my other cartridges, which include Koetsu RPS, EAT No 8, Benz LPS and Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC.

In terms of richness and "corporeal body" (the sonic "meat on the bones" of the singers and musicians) how would you rank the Koetsu RSP, the Benz Micro LP S and the DS Audio?
 

marty

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Apr 20, 2010
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One would think that if the "next generation" of DS cartridges is newest model 003, then a revision for the Grand Master and other higher models is surely in the works? (Trickle-up technology!)

Also, does anyone know if there will be after market EQ devices like the Meitner, but a tube-based design? (Zanden, are you listening Yamada-san?). That would get my attention quickly!
 
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Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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It will be interesting to see if DS Audio's collaboration with Ed Meitner was a one-off, or if DS Audio will "open-source" the decoder requirements to others as well.
 

Birdwatcher

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May 29, 2018
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In Germany there are some aftermarket decoder, one really cheap but good one with solidstate technology, and one bigger one with tubes in prototype version. Unfortunatelly I don’t know more details. But I am sure, there will be more names that will jump on the train with decoder for optical cartridges in near future.

Marty, you name the trickle-up-technolog, but this is now more a trickle down technology, as the first third generation DS Audio cartridge was the Grand maste, which introduced the double screen/double optic technology, and the second one in this third generation is the small 003.
I wait for the W3…
 

gajgmusic

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Apr 9, 2013
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I have had the chance to listen to the DS 003 on a number of occasions (including today) in a friends system I have listened to for many hours over the last 20 years and compare it to the Grand Master ( through the EMM DS-EQ1). It is startlingly good. It has many, many of the virtues of the Grand Master. It may not have all the detail but it offers great musicality and similar bass, all the while maintaining the same very black background I think runs through the product line. In some ways, it seems slightly richer than the Grand Master, but I think some of this is due to the slightly less detail (not sure if I explained what I meant very well). I have not heard a standard MC in this system about 3 years so tough to say how it compares. It is remarkable value in my opinion.
 

Gandra

Well-Known Member
Feb 11, 2013
4
1
243
One would think that if the "next generation" of DS cartridges is newest model 003, then a revision for the Grand Master and other higher models is surely in the works? (Trickle-up technology!)

Also, does anyone know if there will be after market EQ devices like the Meitner, but a tube-based design? (Zanden, are you listening Yamada-san?). That would get my attention quickly!

I actually had a look at this before deciding on the purchase. The DS003 is the only other cartridge in their lineup which employs the Independent LED and photo-detector arrangement for the left and right channels technology, the same one found in the Grand Master. In that sense, it is already trickle-down from the GM.
 

Gandra

Well-Known Member
Feb 11, 2013
4
1
243
In terms of richness and "corporeal body" (the sonic "meat on the bones" of the singers and musicians) how would you rank the Koetsu RSP, the Benz Micro LP S and the DS Audio?
Of the three, I would say that the Koetsu has less detail then either of the other two, perhaps due to its flatter frequency response, amongst other things? Its mid-range is beautiful, no denial, but the lack of resolution also results in slightly worse soundstage, compared to the others. The Koetsu is the least susceptible to sounding bright (depending on recording of course).
The Benz has slightly better resolution compared with the Koetsu, more air (better high freq), and better soundstage. And can sound a bit on the bright side with some records.
The DS sort of combines all of the positives from these two and tales them to a higher level. Overall - lots of detail, great bass, great soundstage, full body, less brightness than Benz.

For completeness, my system comprises Garrard 301 in slate plinth, Micro Seiki 808 tonearm, Parasound JC3+ phono, Musical Fidelity Primo pre, and DanA active speakers.
 
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LR319

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May 7, 2019
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I am looking into this optical cart DS-003 too, can anyone tell me what type of tonearm best match with these cart ?
 

puroagave

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Sep 30, 2011
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In terms of richness and "corporeal body" (the sonic "meat on the bones" of the singers and musicians) how would you rank the Koetsu RSP, the Benz Micro LP S and the DS Audio?
I've had the 003 with EMM Labs and thought it was somewhere in the middle of the Allaerts MC II/Colibri Grand Cru through either the BMC or Channel D phono with padded inputs for current drive. i.e. carts with a DCR > 20 ohms. "corporeal body" as in tonal density? then yes. In other words, the DS Audio is def in the same league as any LOMC I've owned, and the list s long.
 

puroagave

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Sep 30, 2011
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I am looking into this optical cart DS-003 too, can anyone tell me what type of tonearm best match with these cart ?
medium mass is best. 12" effective length or greater it will be case-by-case.
 

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