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DS Audio

DS Audio DS 003 System

Regular price $2,500.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $2,500.00 USD
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Inheriting the essence
of the Grand Master


“The DS 003 shows emphatically how trickle-down technology benefits the customer, while maintaining a pecking order. As close as it is to the mind-boggling Grand Master, enough differences ensure that the two can co-exist: the DS 003 is the more lively of the two, the Grand Master the more subtle. That said, if you can afford a Grand Master, buy it. If you cannot, the astonishing DS 003 will still blow your mind” Ken Kessler Hi Fi News




Independent LED and photo-detector arrangement for the left and right channels

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. /N ratio when compared to its stable mates, resulting in an even lower noise floor and far greater musical clarity.


Weight of shading plate reduced by more than 50%

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. reduction in size, the material used to produce the shading plate has changed from aluminum (as used in the second generation cartridges) to 99.9% pure beryllium.


Aluminum cantilever & Aluminum body

The DS003 cartridge features the combination of an aluminum cantilever with a line contact stylus. The cartridge body is made by aluminum and the structure has been designed in such a way as to promote maximum rigidity. 1.6 times thicker than used in the second generation cartridges




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 35µ to 70µ.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. product is hand-made and quality assured by our skilled engineers.


The Abso!ute Sound - DS Audio DS 003 Optical Phono Cartridge - Read More

"The optical groove-reading system is fairly easy to explain: The intensity of a light from a miniaturized “lamp” inside the cartridge is continuously modulated by the movement of an extremely low-mass “shading plate” attached to the stylus/cantilever. As the stylus vibrates, the shading plate vibrates in sympathy, blocking varying amounts of the light coming from the lamp. This variable luminosity is then turned into variable voltages by photoreceptors and sent on to a dedicated phonostage unit, where it is equalized and boosted to line level. " - Jonathan Valin


DS Audio DS 003 Cartridge and Phono Preamplifier System - Read More

"What we’ve got here is an optical cartridge, one that doesn’t rely on magnets and coils to generate an electrical signal, and—for the most part—it’s a total paradigm shift. There’s no coil, no magnets, and the cartridge itself is an active component! So there’s lots to go over here. Please bear with me as I go through it because it’s worth it." - Jason Thorpe



DS Audio DS 003 Cartridge - Read More

"DS Audio cartridges certainly possess a family sound. Seasoned audio enthusiasts might agree that all the various types – MM, low- and high-output MC, strain gauge, Decca/London, moving-iron, moving-flux, and in this case optical – all exhibit specific characteristics. Cantilever material and stylus profile offer some differentiation within a given range and so it is here, in part, with the new DS 003." - Ken Kessler


Stereophile - DS Audio DS003 optical cartridge - Read More

"Despite this dramatic increase in output, the excellent signal-to-noise ratio that DS Audio's optical cartridges are renowned for has not been compromised. The DS003 offers greatly improved signal/noise when compared to its stablemates." - Herb Reichert


Posi+ive Feedback - Read More

"The DS 003 cartridge and 003 phono stage are sold as a set and are a perfectly matched pair. They are compatible with all DS Audio optical cartridges and equalizers providing many choices and upgrades for the ultimate in pure analog vinyl enjoyment."


DS003 Cartridge From DS Audio - Read More

"The new design here includes a thicker circuit board and thicker copper foil. In addition, the DS003 equaliser allows you to select from four low frequency cut-off points, allowing you to select the output that best matches your system."



DS 003 Optical Cartridge

Signal output Photo-electric Conversion
Channel separation 27dB more(1kHz)
Weight 7.7g
Output signal level 70mV (1kHz cartridge output)
Canti-lever Aluminum
Body material Aluminum(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 More than 10kΩ
Input terminal RCA terminal
Output terminal
RCA terminal×2
Size W33cm×H9.2cm×D29.5cm
Weight 5.0kg