Special Review of DS-Audio “Optical Cartridge DS001”
by Mr. Mitsuru KOBAYASI, Audio Critic
DS Audio has perfected the legendry technology of optical cartridge.
It is One and only one “Optical Cartridge” in the world.
Optical Cartridges were introduced by major Japanese companies in 1960s.
Many of us felt that this technology could be one of the main stream of Audio markets.
However, this was a short life product and faded away quickly. You can imagine that even leading makers could not ensure the sufficient accuracy required in the technology at the time.
In Dec. 2013,Optical Cartridge DS001 was announced by DS Audio in Japan.
DS Audio is a subsidiary of Digital Stream Corporation who has been leading the State-of-art laser
optics technology in the professional market since 1986. Their expertise in optics and years of experience in the laser technology made it possible to revive this legendary cartridge with their advanced optics and extreme accurate design.
“It is a new world. A big step closer to the Analog Master Source”
The principle of optical cartridge is to detect Stylus vibration by a beam of light, unlike conventional cartridges which are based on electromagnetic induction.
The lowmoving mass and no residual induction force, Optical cartridge can provide superb
S/N ratio and the low signal distortion, not to mention of its simple and clean signal reproduction process
Sound impression is “Realism”. You immediately notice that background noise level is
clearly low, especially silent groove section and very low level sound.
The best word to explain is you hear “Tranquility in clear transparency”. In live-recording,
Concert hall becomes vivid and real. Sound image is extremely clear, with
natural reverberation of the hall. I would like to emphasize that there is no unnatural sound in its sound. Very favorable.
Its wide range playback sound should be strongly mentioned. It plays back even subsonic range of low frequencies with very high resolution. You can feel “Air”. It matches naturally with extremely clear high
frequency range. Attack sound of the kick drum in contemporary Jazz is clear and smooth. Those of who are used to listen to massively emphasized bass sound may feel weak at first. However, it is the high quality fidelity DS001 provides.
This is the “realism” recreated by the flat frequency response in marginal wide range. All of this comes from its high traceability and microscopic moving mass. This is the advantage of the optical cartridge,
where no coils and magnets are applied. In the mid to high frequency range, it provides natural energy balance without any coloring of the sound. Vocal is coming out naturally and Strings with delicacy in high level fidelity.
DS001 does not choose music category. It plays back recorded tracks accurately with high precision. It brings you one step closer to the mastersound source.
This is,you may say, the Analog sound. Kobayashi Mitsugu