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February 8, 2019

Optical Phono Cartridge Pioneer DS Audio Launches New Entry Level DS-E1

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In 2013, Japanese DS Audio pioneered the world’s only optical phono cartridge. Since then the company has created a small range of models, from the flagship DS Master 1 to the lower cost DS 002, with rave reviews from audiophiles worldwide. Now, the brand new DS-E1 makes the superb sound of the optical cartridge more accessible still, at half the price of the DS 002.

Why go optical?

In contrast to moving-magnet (MM) and moving-coil (MC) cartridges that work on the principle of electromagnetic induction, an optical cartridge uses a beam of light to read stylus/cantilever movement. This makes the cartridge much lighter and more agile, while also completely eliminating the magnetic frictional force caused by magnets and coils and its unwanted influence on stylus/cantilever movement.

Another major advantage lies in the cartridge’s output. In conventional MM and MC designs, the output signal depends on the speed at which a tiny magnet or coil moves in an electromagnetic field. At lower frequencies the magnet or coil moves slowly so the output signal is small, while at higher frequencies it moves more quickly and so the output signal is disproportionately large – hence the need for equalization. In an optical cartridge the output signal depends on the distance that the stylus moves, so there are no disparities between high and low frequencies. Therefore no equalization is needed (other than RIAA curve correction) and low frequency reproduction is much improved, since an optical cartridge can theoretically detect signals as low as 1Hz.

The sound has delicacy, subtlety, natural warmth and a deep richness. It’s stunningly real, capturing all of the miniscule, critical details that make a musical performance come to life.

Discover more about DS Audio and the new DS-E1 at https://www.ds-audio-w.biz

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