The pioneer in optical phono cartridges, DS Audio elevates the sound of vinyl playback with its new Grand Master system. This pure analog playback system combines a new “dual mono” cartridge design featuring 50% lower weight moving parts with a massive 2 chassis phono stage weighing over 100 lbs.


DS Audio's flagship optical phono cartridge, engineered to bring analog sound to another level.   

The new Grand Master optical cartridge is optimized by implementing a new independent (dual mono) LED and photo-detector arrangement for the left and right channels. The cartridge output voltage has greatly increased from 40 mV to 70 mV, significantly more than traditional phono cartridges. With this dramatic increase in output, DS Audio's excellent signal to noise ratio has been furthered improved, resulting in an even lower noise floor and greater musical clarity. The new design of the Grand Master generator further reduces crosstalk, greatly improving left and right channel separation, specifically above 10 kHz.

Over 50% reduction in moving mass 

With the implementation of dual mono LEDs, a new larger shading plate was engineered using 99.9% pure beryllium for optimal positioning and agility.  

DS Audio succeeded in reducing the weight of this shading plate by more than 50%, from 1.56 mg to 0.74 mg. This is less than 1/10th of the moving mass compared to the former/coil assembly found in a typical MC (moving coil) cartridge.

This further improves the key advantages of DS Audio’s optical cartridge technology, enhancing track-ability, reducing resonance, and minimizing record wear.

Diamond cantilever with Micro-ridge stylus, ultra-rigid body design and improved internal wiring.

A first for DS Audio, the Grand Master cartridge combines a diamond cantilever with a micro-ridge stylus. The cartridge body has been structurally designed to promote maximum rigidity. The Grand Master utilizes new internal wiring, 1.6 times thicker than used in previous generation cartridges, for greater signal flow from the dual-mono generator.

DS Audio’s technology allows unmatched performance and flexibility

The Grand Master cartridge and matching Grand Master phono stage is the ultimate realization of optical phono cartridge performance. DS Audio’s optical cartridges and equalizers are compatible with all providing many choices and upgrade paths for the ultimate in pure analog vinyl enjoyment.