The Audio Beatnik Review
“Like the other DS Audio optical cartridges, the DS 002 doesn’t use a fixed array of magnets and coils that almost all phono cartridges use. Instead, it uses a fixed LED and an optical sensor to respond to the mechanical movement of the record grooves that modulate its Shibata-tipped cantilever into electricity. If you are interested in the technical side of how the DS Audio Optical cartridges work, look at my 2016 review of the DS-W1 for Dagogo.
The DS 002, like the DS Master1, uses a newly-designed micro-optic sensor which is positioned closer to the stylus, resulting in a shorter optical signal path. It also uses the new wire-suspended cantilever. On the DS 002, the cantilever is aluminum and the stylus tip is a Shibata-shaped diamond. These changes create significant improvements in channel separation over the DS-W1.
I asked how the DS 002 and the DS Master1 cartridges are different other than the cantilever material and stylus shape. According to Mr. Tetsuaki (Aki) Aoyagi, the DS Master1 body is made of “Ultra Duralumin” while the DS 002 is made of aluminum. “Ultra Duralumin” is an aluminum alloy that combines copper and magnesium with aluminum. Because of its lightness and other desirable physical properties, it has lower coloration than the aluminum body of the DS 002. According to Mr. Aki, the DS Master1’s parts are selected, measured and matched to much tighter tolerances. I can hear this difference with ease, but let’s be honest, there should be a discernible difference between cartridges when one costs four times more than the other.
The DS 002 cartridge itself is rather plain looking, and the phono stage looks very small compared to the DS Master1’s big beast of a phono stage, but it doesn’t look small compared to the DS-W1 phono stage. The DS 002 phono equalizer/preamp, like all the new DS Audio equalizer/preamps, has an output that uses the RIAA equalization curve.” Read Full Review Here
DS 002 Optical Cartridge Specifications
Signal output: Photoelectric conversion
Channel separation: 25dB or more
Output signal level: 500mV
Body material: Aluminum
Tracking force: 1.6g–1.8g
DS 002 Equalizer
Rated output voltage: 500mV
Impedance: 120 ohms
Output: Two stereo pairs on RCA jacks
Size: 310 x 920 x 235mm
- Precision set up of cartridge.
- 5 tangential options.
- The best by far.