DS Audio Optical Cartridge

Afternoon (Evening/Morning)
In light of lots of discussions on several threads regarding Cartridge Replacement, I have been considering my future options. My Cartridge (Rega Aphetta 3) is not due for change until next year, but I am already considering the options.
I have recently come across a couple of articles mentioning the DS Audio range of Optical Cartridges.
The concept is very interesting (lack of magnets etc), but I was wondering if any out there have real world experience of one.
A quick search showed little conversation regarding the products, so I thought I’d ask the question🙂

It’s a fascinating concept but as it is not compatible with any RiAA phono preamp and mandates the use of the DS Audio one I can’t imagine it has a big following. Tieing the cartridge to a specific phono stage is a hard sell.

Playing devils advocate, the pickup method could technologically be superior to MC but still relies on a physical stylus and phono stage and they vary massively from maker to maker so those would also have to be superior or the pickup method so vastly better than MC as to make the relative quality of the DS Audio phono stage compared to say a Superline, a moot point.

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I totally agree regarding the Phono Stage aspect.
I would have thought it would be better to have the signal interpretation processor as a separate entity to the phono stage, but maybe that isn’t easily achieved.
Perhaps the alternative is to license the technology to companies who specialise in the Phono Stage element (Avid, Cyrus, Graham Sale et al) to enable the technology to gain a better footing in the wider community.
I would still like to hear the opinion of the product from someone who’s used it in the real world though :thinking:

Heard them a few times at different shows.
Sounded ok, but nothing that would make me jump on board.
Plus, you need the complete package to make it work, very limited on options, and quite expensive as it starts at £5000 and goes up.
So limited market, especially when you have already invested in a phono stage, etc.

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I have the Grandmaster cart & Master 1 equaliser. Very dynamic & strong bass compared to my Koetsu Stone bodies. Preference for high mass arm compared to medium mass one. I have mine on a 10” Glanz. Seems quieter than MCs. I use it to play rock


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