DS Audio DS-W1 Named HiFi+’s Cartridge of the Year

UK publication, HiFi+ has named the DS Audio DS-W1 optical phono cartridge their 2016 Cartridge of the Year. From HiFi+: “Undoubtedly the most exciting development in phono cartridge design since the invention of the moving coil, Japanese audiophile brand DS Audio’s unique DS-W1 consists of an optical cartridge and matching equaliser. Although it uses a conventional stylus and cantilever, the cartridge itself uses a tiny plate and slot arrangement to allow a photoelectric cell to measure the amount of movement in the groove, in place of coils and magnets. While the DS Audio cartridge is exacting to set-up and match to an arm, Roy Gregory felt it was worth the effort, saying “Never have I heard a cartridge that can capture instrumental textures or vocal nuance, the skin of a drum and the air inside it, or the rasp of bow on strings as naturally and effortlessly as this.” This review originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of HiFi+.