“The best cartridge he’s ever heard” & “stunning workmanship”: DS Audio and Furutech scoop multiple Editors’ Choice Awards from The Absolute Sound

Berkshire-based Sound Fowndations is the UK distributor for two Japanese brands that consistently appear in a raft of world-leading audio awards, and the TAS Editors’ Choice Awards are no exception. 2022 sees three Awards for DS Audio and six for Furutech.

DS Audio

Both of DS Audio’s top two optical cartridges are awarded, along with one of the company’s innovative accessories.

The DS Audio Grand Master “comes closer to the sound of R2R tape than any other phono cartridge on the market,” writes Jonathan Valin and is “one of the two most lifelike source components [he] has yet heard in his home… A Grand Masterpiece.” “In his sterling review of the Grand Master in HFNRR, Ken Kessler said something he seldom says about products under review. To wit, this is possibly the best cartridge he’s ever heard. I hate to be a copycat,but…ditto.” You can read Jonathan Valin’s full review online at www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/ds-audio-grand-master-cartridge-and-grand-master-equalizer

DS Audio Grand Master optical cartridge

The DS Audio Master 1 and Master 1 equalizer “are simply outstanding components, setting new benchmarks for vinyl playback in several areas (mechanical silence, neutral voicing, and midrange-to-midbass realism).” Again, an earlier full review is available online at www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/ds-audio-master1-optical-cartridge-and-master1-equalizer

DS Audio Master 1 cartridge – in play

DS Audio’s ION-001 ionizer, meanwhile, is a “worth-it addition to any ultra-high-end playback system.” A free-standing ionizer designed to continuously flood the surface of your records with ions and cations to eliminate the static charge on the vinyl, it ‘smooths out’ tracking by neutralizing static electricity.”

Clearaudio Innovation with DS Audio DS-W2 cartridge and ION-001

Find out more at https://ds-audio-w.biz and track down your neareast dealer via UK distributorwww.soundfowndations.co.uk


Furutech’s mid-priced Evolution range of cables and premium-priced Reference III cable range are both awarded (multiple models), for their “great transparency and purity, plus an uncanny ability to block out noise.”

Similarly, the Flux cable series (including Lineflux RCA interconnect, Silver Arrows II phono and Powerflux AC)
”are extremely transparent and detailed” and “transmit a wealth of detail but are never harsh. The quality
of workmanship, as with all Furutech products, is stunning. The connectors are a pleasure to handle and use.”

Furutech’s DPS-4.1 high end power cable features Furutech’s superb ‘OCC-DUCC’ conductors, constructed using a combination of the company’s own renowned Alpha-treated Ohno Cast Copper (OCC) with Ultra Crystallized High Purity Copper (DUCC) developed by the Materials division of Mitsubishi – a leading manufacturer of the highest-purity oxygen-free copper in the world. “The finished product performs on a par with some of the top contenders, at a considerable savings,” says The Absolute Sound.

Also awarded are the GTX-D NCF AC duplex wall outlets, in which
 “Furutech has taken the humble outlet and run it through a gauntlet of refinement far beyond what most of us can imagine. Performance-wise, there’s no doubt that the Furutech removed a layer of low-level grunge from the sonic window, reducing noise across the soundstage… uncompromising quality and high performance.”

Furutech GTX-D NCF Rhodium AC duplex receptacle

Finally, Furutech’s NCF Clear Line, an audio-grade passive AC optimizer, plugs into any vacant receptacle on either a power distributor or wall outlet and “nails the perimeter around sung notes and the clarity of the space between them, resulting in a more definitive sense of layering and transient immediacy. Sensible, cost-effective, and, once heard, difficult to part with.”

Furutech NCF Clear Line AC power supply optimizer

Find out more at www.furutech.com. Again, www.soundfowndations.co.uk is the UK distributor to contact for local dealers.

The complete TAS Awards are published in the magazine’s March 2022 issue.