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DS Audio

DS Audio DS Grand Master System

Regular price $15,000.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $15,000.00 USD
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Grand Master

Enter the next generation…
enter grand master.


“The Grand Master is so truly supreme in resolution, transparency, spatial recreation, neutrality and any other parameter I can name that it’s impossible for me not say what I usually try to avoid:‘This may be the best cartridge I’ve ever heard.’”
Ken Kessler Hi Fi News 2021



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

The new Grand Master 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. The Grand Master 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. 


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.
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. 



Diamond cantilever 

A first for DS Audio, the Grand Master cartridge features the combination of a diamond cantilever with a microridge stylus. The cartridge body structure has been designed in such a way as to promote maximum rigidity. In addition to these features, the Grand Master utilizes internal wiring 1.6 times thicker than used in the second generation cartridges in order to reduce impedance. 




Power unit and equalizer unit are completely separate units 

The DS Audio Grand Master equalizer features separate equalizer and power supply units, each contained in completely independent housings. The use of 2.34 million uF and 2.97 million uF electrolytic capacitors within the equalizer and power supply units respectively has resulted in a significantly stronger power supply design and made improved reproduction of deeper low frequencies possible.
In addition to this, the Grand Master equalizer incorporates special film capacitors custom built to DS Audio’ s specifications and non-induction winding resistors. The design features a total of three transformers, each with a capacity 1½ times greater than that of the DS Master 1. One each, for the left and right channels, with the third handling the power supply to the optical cartridge. 


Total of 6 optional low frequency cut off point 

The Grand Master equalizer offers both single ended RCA and balanced XLR outputs and a total of 6 optional low frequency cut off points in order to allow the Grand Master to be tailored to marry seamlessly with any hi-fi system. 




The Absolute Sound - DS Audio Grand Master Cartridge and Grand Master Equalizer - Read More 

"As I said in my review of the Master1, eliminating magnets and coils appears to have many audible advantages—not the least of which are dead-quiet background silences, without a hint of RF or hum (provided that the tonearm is properly grounded), the elimination (at least in theory) of the inevitable treble peakiness of moving-coil cartridges, and a bass response that (once again in theory) can extend down to 1Hz. (There are also drawbacks to optical transducers, which I’ll come to in a moment.)" - Jonathan Valin


HiFi News - DS Audio Grand Master Cartridge - Read More 

"DS Audio cartridges are so ghostly quiet compared to MCs that there could be culture shock when first hearing one. I'll never forsake Deccas or Koetsus, but the Grand Master is so truly supreme in resolution, transparency, spatial recreation, neutrality and any other parameter I can name that it's impossible for me not say what I usually try to avoid: 'This may be the best cartridge I've ever heard.'" - Ken Kessler


Part time Audiophile - A Flagship Optical Cartridge and Phono Stage/Equalizer - Read More 

"The Grand Master cartridge and phono stage are compatible with all DS Audio’s optical cartridges and equalizers providing many choices and upgrades for the ultimate in pure analog vinyl enjoyment." 


DS Audio Grand Master - Read More 

"While the Grand Master shares the same LED/photocell concept as all DS Audio’s proprietary pick-ups, the core internals of this flagship are both further miniaturised and separated into a dualmono construction. The white LED at the front of the pick-up is purely decorative. Inside, however, not one but two narrow-beam infra-red (850µm) LEDs are positioned between the stylus tip and cantilever fulcrum, their output deflected by an extremely fine beryllium plate that’s fixed to the rear of the diamond cantilever. The plate modulates the IR light falling onto two photodiodes, each generating an electrical current that directly mirrors either the left or right channel signal" -  Ken Kessler & Paul Miller


Grand Master Optical Cartridge

Signal output Photo-electric Conversion
Channel separation 27db more(1kHz)
Weight 7.7g
Output signal level 70mV more
Canti-lever Diamond
Body material Ultra duralumin
Cantilever holder material Stainless
Needle pressure 2.0g~2.2g(2.1g is recommended)
Stylus Micro Ridge

Grand Master Equalizer for Optical Cartridge

Output voltage 700mV(1kHz)
Output impedance RCA 120Ω XLR 120Ω
Pre-amp input impedance More than 10kΩ
Input terminal RCA terminal
Output terminal RCA terminal×3, XLR terminal×3
Size W45.2cm×H15.2cm×D48.6cm(Both)
Weight 25.1kg(Equalizer unit) , 29.8kg(Power unit)