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DS Audio

DS Audio DS W3

Regular price $5,000.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $5,000.00 USD
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DS Audio new reference model



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

The new DS-W3 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 DS-W3 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. 



Boron cantilever & Aluminum body 

The DS-W3 cartridge features the combination of an boron 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. In addition to these features, the DS-W3 utilizes internal wiring 1.6 times thicker than used in the second generation cartridges in order to 




Changed the thickness of the circuit board and the thickness of the copper foil. 

Compared to the DS-W2 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.Components are also optimized for third-generation cartridges.In addition, the DS-W3 equalizer has four different low-frequency outputs to choose from. The DS-W3 equalizer has both unbalanced and balanced outputs, so you can choose the output that best 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.
Each and every product is hand-made and quality assured by our skilled engineers. 



Audio File - DS Audio DS-W3 - Read More 

"Although I tried both DS Audio’s least expensive energiser and the Master model, I settled on the DS-W3 cartridge/energiser pictured and tested here as it’s this natural pairing that really concerns us. My notes include mention of the superbly recorded Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones live set Checkerboard Lounge – Live Chicago 1981 [Eagle Vision/Ward VQBD-10107], where the initial impact was the recreation of the club’s soundstage, so airy and so wide open and perfectly defined that I immediately thought of it as ‘Denon’s DL-103 on steroids’. Yes, it’s that huge. I was able to match liner notes to lineups, so even a non-musician like me could distinguish Ron Wood’s guitar from that of John Primer, and Mick Jagger’s distinctive vocals struggling to match the legitimacy of Muddy Waters’ gruff tones. What the new DS Audio system brought to the performance was an opening up of the sound such that a listener with forensic tendencies could more easily home in on a particular performer: - Ken Kessler 


Hi-Fi News - DS Audio DS-W3 Cartridge - Read More 

"Wow! The new energiser utterly transformed the performance to another level, especially for bass solidity, an even quieter background (quite an achievement as the DS Audio cartridges have always been ghostly in that area), and greater 'speed'. Also indicative of the energiser improvements, eg, greater reservoir capacitance, is that it takes longer for the charge to dissipate, the lights staying on far longer than with previous models." - Ken Kessler

HiFi Pigs Magazine - DS Audio DS-W3 Optical Cartridge - Read More 

"The DS Audio DS-W3 optical cartridge sports a completely new design compared its predecessor and is very much an example of the brand’s ‘third generation’ technology first seen in the flagship Grand Master. Its optical system has been comprehensively re-engineered to deliver a number of benefits." 


StereoNet - DS Audio Launches All-New Third-Gen DS-W3 - Read More  

"The DS-W3 optical cartridge sports a completely new design compared to its predecessors and, according to the company, “is very much an example of the brand's third-generation technology”. For instance, it borrows a comprehensively re-engineered optical system following lessons learned when creating the flagship Grand Master." - JAY GARRETT 


Stereo Magazine - DS Audio Introduces New "Light" Pickup and Phono EQ Unit - Read More  

"The most successful photo-optical phono cartridge model from the Japanese manufacturer DS Audio received a major update."


DS-W2 Optical Cartridge

Signal output Photo-electric Conversion
Channel separation 27db more (1kHz)
Weight 7.9g
Output signal level 70mV more
Canti-lever Boron
Body material Aluminum
Stylus Line contact

DS-W3 Equalizer for Optical Cartridge

Output voltage 500mV(1kHz)
Output impedance RCA 120Ω XLR 600Ω
Pre amp input impedance NMore than 10kΩ
Input terminal RCA terminal
Output terminal RCA terminal×2, XLR terminal×2
Size W45cm×H12cm×D435cm
Weight 13.5kg