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DS Audio

DS Audio DS Master 1

Regular price $7,500.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $7,500.00 USD
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Phono Cartridge


"After years of using only MCs, and following a month with Koetsu’s Onyx, the DS Audio Master 1 was a shock because its presentation was so clean and noiseless –even more so than its siblings.It requires the listener to dispel any preconceptions about vinyl.It has speed, detail and space to rival Deccas. The sacrifice for this is a trace of warmth… so wear a cardigan. Believe me: this cartridge is phenomenal." 



Sapphire cantilever with microridge stylus 

The micro-ridge stylus of the DS Master1 features a minimum-curvature radius and is mounted to a sapphire cantilever.
The super low mass optical generator, which eliminates the need for magnets and coils as found in conventional phono cartridges, is free of ultra sonic ringing. These features allow the Master1 to reproduce every element of musical information with stunning nuances and brilliant detail, redefining flagship-level performance. 

Overwhelmingly high rigidity 

Advanced Material Science was employed throughout the development phase of the DS Master1. No detail was overlooked. Over the past two years, all aspects of the design and components have been re-evaluated to ensure the highest rigidity possible in the Master1 cartridge. From its Ultra-duralumin body to its amethyst power indicator window, we have carefully selected each material and component to ensure that the DS Masterl represents a phono cartridge of the highest quality. 



Dual mono circuit 

The DS Master1’ s matching equalize features expertly designed, fully discrete dual-mono analog circuits with three independent power supplies. Each channel of the Master1 equalizer has its own discrete power supply to deliver more than ample power, with the third power supply dedicated to the DS Master1 cartridge's LED optical drive system. This solution delivers unparalleled performance. 

Fully balanced XLR output 

Offering a choice of outputs and low frequency response options, the DS Master1 equalizer features three sets of RCA and XLR outputs and three separate low frequency cutoff points. Each low frequency contour is accessed by its own dedicated single-ended RCA or balanced XLR output for a total of six sets of dual-mono outputs, providing ultimate flexibility. 

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. Each and every product is hand-made and quality assured by our skilled engineers.



The Absolute Sound - DS Audio Master1 Optical Cartridge Equalizer - Read More 

"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). Even where they aren’t setting standards, they are now competitive with the finest coils and magnets. Perhaps the best part of all is DS Audio products still have room to grow: in trackability, in soundstaging, in upper midrange and treble flatness, in overall warmth. Remember, the optical cartridge with internal LED and photo sensors is a relatively new thing. That the folks at DS Audio are taking the perfection of this idea seriously is shown by the remarkable sonic progress they’ve made from the W1 Night Rider to the DS-002 to the Master1. I know this much: If I were in the market for a new phono cartridge and I had the money, the Master1 system would be at the very top of my short list of must-hears. Go listen for yourself, and discover not just a new cartridge but a new phonographic paradigm." - Jonathan Valin


Stereophile - Swedish Analog Technologies LM-09 tonearm; DS Audio Master1 optical cartridge - Read More

 " I wish I could afford to have both of these listening experiences handy on different, equally fine tonearms, but that's beyond my means (though maybe not yours). DS Audio's Master1 optical cartridge on SAT's new LM-09 tonearm provided a festival of delicacy and detail that you should hear. Whether or not the Master1's clearly but gently rising top end will bother you is something only your ears and speakers can tell you."


FIDILITY MAGAZINE - DS Audio Master 1 - Read More

"How do I know that? Even in my analog setup at home, the Master 1 demonstrates all of that with extreme precision (and reproduces it), which is why I have optimized my “analog castle” (EnVogue Astra with Nottingham Analogue Anna 12 inch on Subbase Analogique and LignoLab TT-100). The tonal character of this combo is hugely different from the AMG, is more earthy and more solid and simultaneously amazingly nimble, provides excessive energy, and is hugely dynamic and incredibly thrilling. And so it should be! In my opinion, the great DS Audio meets the high expectations of a top­end integrated cartridge solution also because the set, consisting of optical cartridge and EQ unit, manages everything with no “flavor enhancers.” - Cai Brockmann


HiFi News - DS Audio Master 1 cartridge - Read More

"Undeniably, the energiser for the Master 1 is more highly-specified and over-engineered than the less expensive model, and it must contribute to the better performance. Owners of DS-002s might wish to try the Master 1 equaliser box before upgrading their cartridges." - Ken Kessler


Posi+ive Feedback - Read More

"Given my intense interest in DS Audio, I'm pleased to say that we were able to obtain a review sample of the DS Master 1 in early 2019, courtesy of Garth Leerer and Musical Surroundings. Various interruptions meant that we didn't actually get the system put into place until later in the year, but things do happen when they happen." - Nelson Pass


DS Audio DS Master1 Optical Phono Cartridge and Preamp/Equalizer Review - Read More

"I love the emotions of live recordings, and the DS Master1 brings these out. There’s also something about the ability to hear the audience that adds to the emotional experience. The ability to carry the pace, rhythm and timing so well leads to that emotional experience and makes music one of the real joys of my life." - Jack Roberts


The Audio Beatnik - DS Audio’s Master 1 Optical Cartridge with the Master 1 Preamp/Equalizer - Read More 

"The DS Master 1 Optical Phono Cartridge has some significant improvements over the DS-W1. They have positioned the newly designed micro-optic sensor unit closer to the stylus, resulting in a much shorter optical path length. It also has a new wire-suspended cantilever. These improvements were made to allow the DS Master1 in order to create a significant improvement in channel separation." 



DS Master1 Optical Cartridge

Signal output Photo-electric Conversion
Channel separation 25db more (1kHz)
Weight 8.1g
Output signal level 50mV more
Canti-lever Sapphire
Body material Ultra duralumin
Needle pressure 1.6g~1.8g (1.7g is recommended)
Stylus Micro Ridge

DS Maste1 Equalizer for Optical Cartridge

Output voltage 500mV(1kHz)
Output impedance RCA 120Ω XLR 600Ω
Pre amp input impedance More than 10kΩ
Input terminal RCA terminal
Output terminal RCA terminal×3, XLR terminal×3
Size W43.6cm×H16.1cm×D39.5cm
Weight 24.0kg