DS Audio DS-003 Optical Cartridge + Equalizer


DS Audio

DS Audio DS-003 optical cartridge + phono equalizer

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Next generation state-of-the-art optical analog phono cartridge system including the phono equalizer ready to use with any amplifier and turntable.


Technical Specifications

DS Audio DS-003 Optical Cartridge

Signal output: Photo-electric Conversion
Channel separation: 27db (1KHz)
Weight: 7.7g
Output signal level: 60mV (1kHz cartridge output)
Cantilever: Aluminium
Body material: Aluminium (A5052)
Cantilever holder material: Stainless
Needle pressure: 2.0g~2.2g (2.1g is recommended)
Stylus: Line contact

DS 003 Equalizer for Optical Cartridge

Output voltage: 500mV(1kHz Equalizer output)
Output impedance: RCA 120Ω
Pre amp input impedance Input terminal: More than 10kΩ
Output terminal: RCA terminal×2
Size: W33cm×H9.2cm×D29.5cm
Weight: 5kg


The DS003 cartridge is a completely new design. The third generation of DS Audio’ s optical cartridge features a comprehensively re-designed optical system that provides the following improvements and benefits:

We have further developed the optical cartridge system by implementing independent LED’ s and photo-detectors (PD’ s) for the left and right channels. The result is that the cartridge output voltage is dramatically increased from 40mV to 70mV (a 75% increase) and channel separation is greatly improved

The new DS003 optical cartridge system has been optimized, by implementing an independent LED and photo-detector arrangement for the left and right channels. As a result the cartridge output voltage has greatly increased from 40mV to 70mV. Despite this dramatic increase in output, the excellent signal to noise ratio that DS Audio optical cartridges are renowned for has not been compromised. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The DS003 cartridge offers a greatly improved S/N ratio when compared to its stable mates, resulting in an even lower noise floor and far greater musical clarity. In addition to this, the new independent design of the DS003 cartridge has made it possible to eliminate crosstalk, greatly improving left and right channel separation (in particular the high frequency separation has improved by 10dB in comparison to its DS Audio forebears.)


Over 50% weight reduction in our new reshaped, solid beryllium shading plate

The implementation of independent left and right channel LED’ s allows for the positioning of the optical system to be optimized as well as necessitating the use of a new shading plate that has been significantly reduced in size compared to our earlier designs.In addition to this reduction in size, the material used to produce the shading plate has changed from aluminium (as used in the second generation cartridges) to 99.9% pure beryllium.
As a result of this, we succeeded in reducing the weight of the shading plate by more than 50%, from 1.56mg to 0.74 mg. This is less than 1/10th of the mass when compared to the core and coil system found in a typical MC (moving coil) cartridge and further improves one of the key advantages of DS Audio’ s optical cartridge technology, which is an incredibly low effective mass.

Featuring a Aluminum cantilever & Body, rigid construction design and improved internal wiring.

The DS003 cartridge features the combination of aluminum cantilever with a line contact stylus. The cartridge is made by alminum and the body structure has been designed in such a way as to promote maximum rigidity. In addition to these features, the DS003 utilizes internal wiring 1.6 times thicker than used in the second generation cartridges in order to reduce impedance.

Changed the thickness of the circuit board and the thickness of the copper foil.

Compared to the DS002 equalizer, the thickness of the circuit board has been changed from 1.6 mm to 2.0 mm, and the thickness of the copper foil has been changed from 35 μ to 70 μ. In addition, the DS003 equalizer allows you to select the cutoff frequency for the low frequency range from four types, allowing you to select an output that better matches your system.

Hand-made in Japan circuit board

Every component part used in our products is tested and evaluated by our expert Japanese technicians.
In addition to using a specially printed circuit board, twist-connection of the component legs is further evidence of DS Audio’ s excellent attention to detail.

Each and every product is hand-made and quality assured by our skilled engineers.

Brandstraat 28
9255 Buggenhout