Customer reviews(all products)

by土屋洋(Japan) on
DS-W2 set

I bought the DS-W2 two years ago. I've used many MC cartridges so far, but the W2 sounds quite different from those MC cartridges. It is a natural and realistic sound without coloring. The resolution is high, and it reproduces precisely and realistically from low to high frequencies, but the W2 does not feel the unique sound of the cartridge. With MC cartridges, there are characteristics depending on the range, and you can feel the unique coloring of the tone, but this W2 does not feel that tendency. The sound engraved on the record is reproduced with high freshness as it is. The sound is just natural and full of dynamism. Compared to SACD, it is not inferior in sound quality. When I realized that, I had to dispose of all the MC cartridges I had. Some of them cost hundreds of thousands of yen. I thought, "If you have this W2, you don't need anything else." I've been quite happy with W2 for the last two years, but recently I'm getting lost. I heard the high evaluation of GRAND MASTER released by DS Audio this summer. If you listen to GRAND MASTER, you will surely like it. It's not an easy price to buy, what should I do?

bySY on
DS Master1& ION-001 Vinyl ionizer

After some thought, I introduced DS Maste 1 when I started analog again. If you want high-quality sound with MC & Phonoiko, you will need to invest many times more. After the introduction of DS Master 1, the analog sound quality exceeded that of digital playback on dCS, and we had to replace it with the company's successor model. It is a sin-making product. I used a static elimination product from another company, but the effect of the ION-001 ionizer is outstanding, the SN is improved, and the amount of information and spatial reproducibility are significantly improved. The price is not cheap, but considering the effect, it can be said that it is an essential item.

byH.I(Japan) on
Grand Master (Cartridge) & W2(Equalizer)

I sympathize with DS Audio's corporate philosophy and have used it with DS002, W2 and Grand Master from DS001, the debut work of DS Audio. I think the common features of DS Audio are the quiet background sound and the delicate and beautiful sound. With the DS001, the left and right were not sufficiently separated, and the sound field sometimes felt a little narrow. With W2 (first delivered in Japan), this point was also improved, surpassing conventional cartridges in all respects, and I thought it was almost complete. But when I listened to the Grand Master, I realized again that there was more. Even if I drop the needle, I can't hear the scratch noise, and suddenly the singer starts singing in the spotlight. A singer with a strong presence will sing in front of you, as you can understand the good localization that does not even make slight movements and the small differences in mouth movements and vocalizations. The backing chorus is also drawn with great descriptive power. Bass and drums can distinguish subtle differences in sound. It is a cartridge that further deepens the delicacy of W2 and invites you from an auditory sound field to a colorful visual sound field. If you compare... view more

Page 1 of 5:

2020/10/14  Grand Master demo video at Japanese dealer showroom

2020/9/10  Grand Master Equalizer production video


2020/8/17 DS Master1 review


Absolute sound review by Jonathan Valin
“The Master1 cartridge and Master1 EQ are simply outstanding products, setting new benchmarks for vinyl playback in several areas (mechanical silence, neutral midband voicing, and midrange-to-low-bass realism)”


2020/7/13 Grand Master
Finally, Grand Master is on sale. Please see the details.

Grand Master brochure
Grand Master product features
Grand Master ad design



2020/6/28 New ION-001 Vinyl ionizer review is released
“I can report with complete confidence that the Vinyl Ionizer ION-001 is without a doubt the most effective anti-static device I have ever used. My vinyl playback has never sounded quieter, more revealing, and more enjoyable.”

2020/4/22 New DS-E1 reviews are released(Taiwan)
DS Audio’s most valuable optical analog cartridge

“The DS-E1 has an extremely clean music background, which can make the layering of music more open, medium and high The gorgeous colors and the wide sound field are all DS-E1 charms. Moreover, this price is not just a phono, but even a dedicated amp.”
“We buy it without thinking over because the sound is so brilliant and the price is so kindly !”

2020/4/22 New DS-E1 reviews are released
“Never – except maybe with the DS-W1 – have I heard such a three-dimensional sound image when listening to two-channel systems”

“He is stunned that such an inexpensive system can play so well. It even overshadows its own, sometimes much more expensive, cartridge pickups”
“The DS Audio DS-E1 is so convincing in every respect that not only he but also another acquaintance bought this cartridge through their respective dealers”


Review: DS Audio E1 Optical Cartridge System, Part 2

“Here’s where this cartridge system beats the competition I’ve heard:

None of the competition has that “open reel” quality of sound
None have a dead quiet background
None have the absence of haze you have grown accustomed to
None disassociate surface noise from the music better

I have not had a better listening experience with any other cartridge. It does everything you need a cartridge to do to get you closer to the music. When the “film” you have been listening through for all of these years is removed, you get the closest thing I have heard to an open reel.
At $2,750.00 for the cartridge AND the DS Audio Phono Stage/Equalizer, I simply cannot think of anything that is close. It is my new Audio Waypoint and a game-changer for me personally.”


2020/4/6 New ION-001 review is released

ION-001 review in Taiwan(Chhinese)

“The resulting sonic improvements are immediate, obvious and quite astounding in some cases
One also notices better flow and a greater sense of ease in the overall presentation, an expanded sound stage in all dimensions, and richer harmonics of each musical entity as well as its ambient details.”

2020/2/25 New ION-001 review is released

ION-001 review in Taiwan 

“I played a few vinyl records that I often listen to, and it turned out to be very good. The background is darker, the sound quality is improved with clear sound”


2020/2/5 New DS Master1 photos
We updated DS Master1 photosplease check it.


2020/1/29 ION-001 Set up instruction video
We have released ION-001 Set up instruction video please check it.

2020/1/23 DS-E1 movie
We have released DS-E1 optical cartridge playing movie.


2020/1/21 New ION-001 photos
We released new ION-001 Vinyl ionizer photos.

2020/1/16 New DS Master1 review

Positive feedback Brutus Award2019
“I can say that the results from the beginning and over time with the DS Master 1 have been nothing less than absolutely breathtaking”
“Many turntables, tonearms, and cartridges have come and gone over the past two decades. Frankly, I don’t think that I’ve ever heard better LP playback than the DS Audio DS Master 1 hosted by the NVS and the Durand Tosca. For transparency, clarity, detail, and purity of sound…for making grooves sound like master tape…the DS Audio DS Master 1 is top-o’-the-heap here in 2019”

2020/1/9 DS-W2  sound(WAV 24bit 192kHZ)
You can try to listen DS-W2 optical cartridge sound from here.

2020/1/6 New DS-E1 review(Chinese language) is released
“DS Audio’s latest optical cartridge/phono-stage combo, the DS-E1, while priced at the low end in the lineup, achieves a performance level well beyond expectation. It retains most of the key sonic signatures of the top-end model with just slightly lower resolution and dynamic punch. In terms of background noise level, transient speed, and tonal accuracy, the DS-E1 is obviously ahead of conventional transducers at the similar or much higher price bracket. The clean, accurate and harmonic-rich reproduction of well-recorded piano music will quickly dispel any doubt the DS-E1 being one of the best buys in the analog-gear market today. Strongly recommended.”

2019/12/18 New DS-W2 review is released

“I have never reviewed a product that has invoked as dramatic an experience as the DS Audio DS-W2.”
“its strong and easily identifiable sonic traits which are unlike anything I have ever owned before. It fills void in my analog arsenal and nothing else sounds similar to it. It’s smooth and non-grainy character allows me to listen to music for hours without fatigue. It’s upfrontness and immediacy allows me to enjoy my small but growing collection of Jazz music with a realism which my system didn’t have before. It is an innovative and unique product that deserves my recommendation. Highly recommended!”

2019/11/7 ION-001 Stand height info
Information on the recommended stand height of ION-001 is now available

Stand height

2019/11/7 ION-001 Setting example

Added photos of ION-001 installation example.

2019/10/17 DS Audio video

Take a look at the DS Audio product video shot by Vietnam Audio Magazine.

2019/9/7 EMM Lab optical cartridge equalizer at RMAF

EMM Labs Inc. is exhibiting their optical cartridge equalizer at RMAF. This equalizer is fully compatible with DS Audio cartridges.
We are very happy to be able to make such an announcement.
Click here for the article
Stereophile article here
Audiobeatnik article here 

Ed Meitner-san talking about the optical cartridge equalizer project.(16;45-)
“it was a revelation and ever since I’ve been very much in the analog and really with the cartridges I’ve enjoyed it incredibly.”

2019/9/3 DS-W2 photo
We updated DS-W2 product photos.

2019/9/3 DS Audio catalog 2019
We released new DS Audio catalog 2019 which includes DS-E1 & HS-001 & ION-001. Please check it. 

DS Audio catalog2019 (all products 3.4M)

2019/8/26 DS Audio advertisement designs
You can see DS Audio advertisement designs from here.


2019/8/23 ION-001 Instruction manual
We released ION-001 instruction manual(English) please check it.

ION-001 Instruction manual(English)

ION-001 installation jig
↑You can use this installation jig to check whether ION-001 can be installed in your home system. When printing, adjust the scale to 1/1.


2019/7/23 New ST-50 photo
We updated ST-50 stylus cleaner photos. 

2019/7/10 New DS002 photo
We updated DS002 optical cartridge &EQ photos.

2019/7/3 New HS-001 photo
We upload new HS-001 Solid Headshell photos.

2019/6/28 DS002 review from Hi-Fi Critic (UK)

DS002 new review is released.
“The DS-002 sounds so calm and controlled that it’s genuinely relaxing,” “It’s very transparent with powerful dynamics.”

2019/6/21 ION-001 demo video

↑It is a demonstration video of the static elimination by ION-001 ionizer(60seconds)


2019/6/19 DS-W2 gets the highest score ever since its launch(Germany magazine)

↑Cartridge evaluation list page of AUDIO magazine. DS-W2 scored 125 points and updated the cartridge category world’s highest score.
This is the highest ever score since the launch of the AUDIO magazine.

”It does not happen often that it makes me speechless.  But what the DS Audio DS-W2 gets out of a record really mocks any description.  
In terms of dynamics and transparency, I have never heard a better pickup in my life. ”

2019/6/10 DS-W2 review is released from Poland magazine

Poland magazine review

“The sound it offers is extremely comfortable. It is rich from the top the the very bottom, it beautifully shows the foreground, which is large, rich and strong. There is high dynamics here and great resolution.”
“one can write down the fact that the DS Audio system is completely quiet”

2019/5/29 ION-001 demo video in Munich(taken by Hong kong magazine)


2019/5/23 DS-E1 review

DS-E1 new review is released by Tone audio.
“It would be easy to call the DS Audio E1 optical cartridge and equalizer a benchmark at the $3k price point. I think that it’s easily a benchmark at twice, maybe even three times that price.”

2019/4/25  ION-001 Vinyl Ionizer brochure is released

ION-001 brochure(English)

2019/4/25  ION-001 Vinyl Ionizer

We released the page of ION-001 Vinyl Ionizer.
We will exhibit ION-001 in Munich.(Atrium4 Room F126 & Hall2 E10)

2019/4/24  Hi Fi News DS-E1 review

Hi Fi News DS-E1 review is released.

“The game changer”

I think it could be the sixth biggest game-changer in cartridges in three decades. The other five? its older siblings.

                                                                                                                                                    HiFi News 2019, Ken Kessler

You can read the review here.

2019/3/26  New Material

Uploaded product comparison chart and troubleshooting chart

Troubleshooting chart  

Products comparison

2019/1/16  DS-E1&HS-001 Solid Head Shell Shipping start!
Shipment of new products began.

2019/1/16  HS-001 Solid Head Shell instruction video
This is a video that explained the features of HS – 001 Solid Head Shell. (83 seconds) Please have a look.


2019/1/11  Optical cartridge page updated
We updated the explanation page of the principle of the optical cartridge, so please have a look.

2019/1/3  English brochure
The catalog of the English version of DS-E1 and HS-001 has been completed, so please have a look.

DS-E1 brochure(English)

HS-001 Solid Head Shell(English)

2018/12/21 Magazine top cover

DS-E1 was used for the cover of the magazine in Japan.

2018/12/5 HS-001 Solid Head Shell
HS – 001 Solid Head Shell will be launched in January 2019.

2018/11/30 RMAF2018 interview
An interview article on RMAF was posted so please have a look.

2018/11/5 Stereo sound Grand Prix 2018
DS-W2 optical cartridge won the 2018 stereo sound Grand Prix.
Following DS Master 1, DS 002, it will be the third consecutive year of winning the stereo sound Grand Prix.

2018/7/27 DS Audio Factory video


2018/6/20 DS-W2 unpacked video.

2018/4/20 DS Audio new catalog is available now.


Click here for the new DS Audio catalog(14.4M)


2018/2/5 The FAQ document is available now. [How to check when cartridge does not light up] 

Click here↑



2018/2/5 DS Master1 and DS002 review is available.

You can read Hi Fi news DS Master1 and DS002 Ken Kessler’s review(English) is available.

DS Maste1 review↑ DS002 review↑


2017/12/22 Our New Products 
We will release our new products DS-W2 and ST-50 Stylus cleaner .
Please check the details on the website.


NHK World broadcasted a 30 minute special program which featuring Digital Stream Corporation
(DS Audio parent company)

↑DS Audio optical cartridge is featured from 17:07〜

Munich High End show 2017 Tech Stage demonstration video.

↑Munich High End show 2017 Tech Stage demonstratino.
Talk theme [optical cartridge technology]


40 years of Dream, True creation of Optical cartridge

It has been over 40 years since the first optical cartridge was introduced by Toshiba.
Number of companies followed this master minded concept in Analogue technology.

As a shooting star, it brightly appeared, and passed through Audio lovers’ minds with passionate sounds.
They showed us a simple fact that “Free from Magnet” and “Simplest electronics” could bring us overwhelming advantages in Record play back.

DS Audio succeeded this Master mind technology, inheriting their passion and love of music.
We are proudly announcing our DS Audio Optical Cartridge, DS Master1, to you.

This is our answer to those master minded pioneers in optical cartridge technology.
Without them, we never reached here. And most of all, this is our answer to those who love analog music worldwide.

We believe that DS Master1 brings you the ultimate capability of optical cartridge technology and the sound quality far reaching in different dimensions.
It would be our highest honor when this optical cartridge makes your audio life enriched and fulfilled.


DS Audio CEO Tetsuaki Aoyagi