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.
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.
GRAND MASTER OPTICAL CARTRIDGE
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 further 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.
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.
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.
GRAND MASTER EQUALIZER
The DS Audio Grand Master equalizer features separate equalizer and power supply units, each contained in completely independent housings. The use of 2.34 million uF and 2.97 million uF electrolytic capacitors within the equalizer and power supply units respectively has resulted in a significantly stronger power supply design and made improved reproduction of deeper low frequencies possible. In addition to this, the Grand Master equalizer incorporates special film capacitors custom built to DS Audio’ s specifications and non-induction winding resistors.
The design features a total of three transformers, each with a capacity 1½ times greater than that of the DS Master 1. One each, for the left and right channels, with the third handling the power supply to the optical cartridge.
The Grand Master equalizer offers both single-ended RCA and balanced XLR outputs and a total of 6 optional low frequency cut off points in order to allow the Grand Master to be tailored to marry seamlessly with any hi-fi system.