“Exemplary”: Hi-Fi Critic reviews the DS Audio 002 optical phono cartridge

Are optical cartridges new? Well, yes and no. They originally surfaced in the 1960s and were lauded for their high fidelity, but quickly disappeared again as they had a heat problem caused by the light source used at the time. By the time the requisite technology had sufficiently advanced (in the form of light-emitting diodes which produce little heat), audio was dominated by the rise of the CD and there was little interest in vinyl replay. But in 2013, Japanese company DS Audio began to revisit the technology.

DS Audio is a business group of the Digital Stream Corporation (DSC) which co-developed with Microsoft the optical mouse and which creates industrial laser optics for medical applications.

Their first model, the DS-W1, first appeared in 2013 followed by the flagship DS Master 1 in 2016. The DS-002 draws on innovations from the latter while offering a more affordable way in to optical cartridge technology.

“The DS-002 sounds so calm and controlled that it’s genuinely relaxing,” writes reviewer Chris Bryant. “It’s very transparent with powerful dynamics.”

DS Audio’s DS 002

“This cartridge reproduces music in an exemplary manner. It keeps you listening no matter what musical genre. Coupled to a good system it can definitely produce an enthralling performance from vinyl.”

DS Audio DS 002 phono stage/equalizer

Read the full review in the Jan-Mar 2019 issue of Hi-Fi Critic.

Discover more about the DS-002 at www.ds-audio-w.biz

To find your nearest dealer contact UK distributor Sound Fowndations.