New DS Audio Cartridge “DS003” Profits from the “Grand Master”

July 4th, 2021

Thanks to the design borrowed from the largest model – the incredibly expensive “Grand Master” – the significantly less expensive “DS003” now also benefits from the improved technology with channel-separated photo sensor technology and a weight-reduced shading element.


The so-called “shading plate” in the DS003 consists of 99.9% pure beryllium. The moving mass has also been reduced by 50% from 1.56 to 0.74 milligrams, compared to the previous generation. Because the output voltage of the pickup was increased from 40 to 70mV at the same time, the DS003 is extremely efficient. In combination with the accompanying Phono EQ unit, excellent signal-to-noise ratioes are said to be possible, aiming to especially result in increased dynamics and fine resolution.


The inner conductors of the DS003 have an approximately 1.6 times larger cross-section compared to its predecessor, which is supposed to lead to an improved signal flow. The housing of the pickup is made of the beneficial aluminum alloy A5052 and adapts the resonance-reducing design of the Grand Master, including the vertically positioned light element. As phono equalizer and voltage supplier, the pickup with a “line contact” stylus is served by a continuously analog EQ unit, which carries the characteristic design language of the top model.


All internally installed circuit boards have a thickness of 2 millimeters, which is a further improvement over the 1.6 millimeter thick circuit boards found in the previous version. The increase in copper thickness from 35μ to 70μ is also said to be advantageous in terms of sound. For the particularly demanding record listener, DS Audio gave the DS003 EQ unit a total of four selectable cuttoffs of the low frequency range. Thus, the optimal integration into any hi-fi system is supposed to be ensured.


The DS003, which is also visually reminiscent of the large DS Audio pickup due to its elaborate housing shape, is expected to be available in Germany starting in July at selected dealers for 5,500 euros (complete system including cartridge and EQ unit).