DS Audio Launches All-New Third-Gen DS-W3
DS Audio introduces DS-W3 third-generation optical cartridge to replace DS-W2.
DS Audio's DS-W3 continues the ground-breaking lineage of the DS-W1 launched in 2014 and 2018's DS-W2. In 2020, a third generation of optical cartridges was launched with the flagship Grand Master, from which trickle-down tech has again been applied to the 'W' model, resulting in the new DS-W3.
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.
The new cartridge benefits from independent LEDs and photo-detectors for the left and right channels to deliver a significantly increased output voltage: now 70mV compared to the previous 40mV. This new independent design has also made it possible to eliminate crosstalk, says DS Audio.
The shading plate is now 99.9% pure beryllium instead of aluminium, and the new design allows for a smaller unit bringing the weight down to 0.74mg compared with 1.56mg.
The DS-W3 combines a boron cantilever with a line contact stylus. The cartridge's body is constructed from aluminium with a structure crafted for maximum rigidity. Meanwhile, the internal wiring is 1.6 times thicker than the second-gen model, thus reducing impedance.
Naturally, the DS-W3 still requires its own equaliser/phono stage, which this new design also brings up to third-generation level. All internal components are optimised for the new cartridge tech. The circuit board thickness has increased from 1.6mm to 2.0mm alongside the copper tracks doubling from 35µm to 70µm. Ensuring effortless system matching, the equaliser offers unbalanced and balanced outputs with four different low-frequency roll-off points.
The DS Audio DS-W3 optical phono cartridge and phono stage/equaliser are available now with the cartridge and equaliser package priced at £12,995. The cartridge alone is £4,995 with the equaliser costing £9,495. International pricing has not been announced by the company.
DS Audio cartridges are fully compatible with the company's accompanying phono stages/equalisers, allowing you to mix and match.
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