Hi-fi journalist Ken Kessler doesn’t shy away from telling it like it is – both in the positive and the negative. In the 2019 Hi-Fi News Yearbook he focuses on the former, looking back on “two of the greatest new products to ever enter my listening room.” High praise indeed!
Ken Kessler’s monthly ‘Off the Leash’ column in Hi-Fi News often has readers turning straight to the back pages for his inimitable mixture of blunt frankness, sharp wit and – frankly – sound advice. But the end of the year finds the man in a more reflective mood. “This issue calls for a look back,” he writes.
One of the two “greatest new products” Kessler looks back on is not actually a single product at all, but an entire range. “I am simply staggered by the DS Audio optical cartridges,” he enthuses.
The range spans a wide price band, from the superb and pioneering flagship Master 1 (£20k+), to the “astounding” entry level DS E1 at just £2,295. Prices include a dedicated phonostage, which is tailored to each model but also interchangeable across the range.
“Until one has heard a cartridge which completely eradicates the low-level hum found in every design with a combination of coils and magnets, one doesn’t realize just how quiet LPs can be, nor how wide the dynamics,” writes Kessler.
Read Ken’s ‘Off The Leash’ column in full in the 2019 Yearbook issue of Hi-Fi News.
Check out extracts from some of Ken’s published reviews of the DS Audio range:
The entry-level DS-E1 (Hi-Fi News Outstanding Product, May-19)
Mid-range DS-W2 (Hi-Fi News Outstanding Product, January-19)
Flagship DS Master 1 (Hi-Fi News Editors Choice, Dec-17)