Rocky Mountain Audio Festival 2014 – Show Report

From Positive Feedback Online


“For me, the highlight of the Musical Surroundings room, was hearing the new and revolutionary DS Audio DS-W1 Optical phono cartridge with equalizer. In contrast to today’s conventional cartridges, the DS Audio uses a photo-electric, optical sensing method instead of an electromagnetic conversion process, to produce a signal (and no, it doesn’t involve digital but does retain a suspension system like convention cartridges). Like the strain gauge cartridge, the DS Audio cartridge bypasses the conventional phono section and uses dedicated equalizer/phono section. Final price to be determined but should be between $8-10,000 with equalizer.

The sound? Considering show condition (and that it only had about 15 hours of service under its belt), the cartridge did some absolutely amazing things. Perhaps the cartridge’s two most amazing qualities were its transparency and ability to recreate the sense of a REAL performer. Nor was the cartridge any slouch when it came to transient response or bass reproduction. If there was any area where it fell short of ultimate–in this case to a cold Goldfinger Statement cartridge–was the DS Audio’s ability to produce a huge soundstage.

For those a little less well heeled, Musical Surroundings showed the final version of their $2750 AMG Teatro MC phono cartridge first seen and covered in my 2014 CES Show report. The Teatro uses a special Titanium body, neodymium magnets and separate coils wounds with Ohno case (OCC) mono-crystal, high purity oxygen-free copper. Output is rated at 0.4 mV with expected availability end of this year.”

Positive Feedback Online

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