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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?
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.
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 it with a video, from 4K (W2) to 8K3D (Grand Master)!
The combination of Grand Master (Cartridge) and W2 (Equalizer) is my recommendation!
The performance of the DS-W2 optical cartridge was far beyond imagination.
No matter what kind of record you play, you will only hear the music. Cartridges with habits often produce "audio-like" playback sounds, which makes the "sound" annoying and makes it difficult to enjoy music. With the optical cartridge, you can immerse yourself in the excitement of playing music. I think it's a great cartridge.
There is only one request, or the size of the equalizer. Our system has limited equipment installation space, so we appreciate the size as small as possible. If possible, it would be nice to have an equalizer amplifier that is about the size of a mini component system and has the same performance.
* Analog system used
I attached it to an ultra-low torque turntable called Tien TT-3 and the attached Viora arm, and connected it to the XLR input of the EAR912 preamplifier to listen.
This is a continuation of what I wrote earlier. Compared to SACD players, which one has better sound quality than analog players.
In my case, I think the analog equipment currently in use is better. The SACD device used is the top model of domestic manufacturer E, but it has a well-organized sound, is perfect from low to wide areas, and is a very satisfying sound.
However, when switching to a British-made analog player equipped with DS Audio, as mentioned above, the abundant low range and the wide area that stretches out obediently are more attractive, and the sound is glossy and moisturized, and It's very hot. This is a characteristic that SACD does not have. The only weakness is the hassle of having to turn it over every 20 minutes. This is a sad result for me, who paid a lot for SACD equipment.
Everyone, you shouldn't listen to DS Audio, because you have to buy it (laughs)
I forgot to write something important. Not limited to DS Audio cartridges, this "Vinyl ionizer ION-001" is indispensable. When you switch it on, you can see that the noise level goes down quickly. It's a little expensive, but it's worth it. I recommend it.
After listening to the optical cartridge that I was more interested in than before, I decided to introduce it.
The record mainly enjoys Showa Kayokyoku. When you play Showa Kayokyoku with an optical cartridge, the difference in texture, the difference in sound making, and the difference in singing voice depending on the recorded age are firmly expressed.
This feeling is different from the cartridges and phono equalizers I have tried at home, and I got the impression that the detailed information recorded on the record was picked up firmly and accurately.
In addition, due to the low noise and wide dynamic range that are characteristic of optical cartridges, you can listen to stringed instruments delicately, and the vigorous sound of 45-turn singles and donuts is addictive. .. I think the optical cartridge is the best choice for handling various genres.
It was a casual audition at home, but I couldn't let go of it before I knew it.
In terms of setting, there were some difficult parts due to the high sensitivity, but it was very helpful to have the support by phone or email.
The DS-E1 has a vivid sound that makes the music lively and dynamic.
It doesn't matter what the genre of music is.
Even the DS-E1 has a performance that exceeds that of conventional MC cartridges.
If you only listen to the DS-E1, that's enough.
However, compared to W-2, I feel that W-2 has a different dimension.
I'm curious about what the Grandmaster will sound like.
I started with the early model DS-W1 and upgraded to Master 1 to the present. The optical cartridge is completely different from the MC cartridge in terms of power generation principle, and I was surprised at the difference in low-frequency reproducibility. The sound is tight even though there is a sense of volume in the low range. There is nothing to emphasize in the high range and it grows naturally. The Grand Master came out recently, but I'm afraid I'll buy it if I listen to it.
I was interested in optical cartridges, but when I wasn't ready to introduce them, I had the opportunity to listen to them at my favorite audio shop. The moment I heard it, I felt "this is my favorite sound" and immediately ordered it. The bass range is very rich, and the reproduction of silence feels different from the environment I've heard so far, and I'm very satisfied.
After that, by introducing ION-001, noise due to static electricity is completely eliminated, and you can enjoy your favorite sound field.
Many people say that records sound better than CDs and SACDs, but I felt the superiority of digital in CDs, where a dynamic sound field instantly rises from silence.
This is because most master sound sources are digitally edited and produced, and are made into media with a quality close to that, or distributed in high resolution.
As such, I used record needles and phono equalizers, which are called famous machines.
However, I thought it was not necessary to cut it into a vinyl plate and pick up the sound while scratching it with a diamond needle. I thought so until I came across the DS AUDIO optical cartridge.
After experiencing the DS AUDIO optical cartridge, that thought was overturned.
When you play jazz live with GRAND MASTER, the artist will appear there.
Music that is far higher quality than the live performance that you listen to through the PA at the live venue spreads in front of you.
With the E1, you can feel the three-dimensional effect of the sound and fully enjoy the atmosphere of the optical cartridge. Given the price, I don't think the term game changer is exaggerated. At W2, ordinary record needles and phonoiko look small, but the impression is that the Grand Master is slightly less natural.
I've been hobbyizing audio as a way to get in touch with live music, but I'm thinking of introducing GRAND MASTER as the last piece.
This is a great cartridge and equalizer. I used to think that if I had JVC's MC-L1000, I wouldn't need anything else. Also, I didn't listen to the optical cartridge because it had the image of a cheap item when it was made by Toshiba and the trio. Since it was introduced by some of the audio friends including the members of Double Woofers', I decided to listen to it at home. In my heart, I had to spend money, so I wanted Victor to win, but as soon as I heard it, it was completely done. I don't take time to evaluate the sound. It's the same as a bite of soba or sake. For the equalizer, I compared the genuine and EMM Labs, prioritized the light and bouncy bass that I liked, and decided on EMM Labs. I've always liked the sound of EMM Labs since the days of SACD Player. It's just like the velvety sound of early Krell, which I love. Listening to the stars of Koji Tamaki's narration group image that I reviewed on Stereo Sound on line, I really feel a big difference from other cartridges.
I mainly listen to female vocals, but I can understand the facial expressions of the voice or the detailed expressions. It's even more amazing now that such a sound was recorded. Thank you for providing the sound that can only be experienced with an optical cartridge that is different from MC and MM.