DS Master3 Optical Phono System

Independent LED and photo-detector arrangement for the left and right channels

The new Master 3 optical cartridge system has been optimized, by implementing an independent LED and photo-detector arrangement for the left and right channels. As a result, the cartridge output voltage has dramatically increased from 40mV to 70mV. The Master 3 cartridge offers a greatly improved S/N ratio compared to its stablemates, resulting in an even lower noise floor and far greater musical clarity.


The weight of the shading plate is reduced by more than 50%
The implementation of independent left and right channel LEDs allows for the positioning of the optical system to be optimized as well as necessitating the use of a new shading plate that has been significantly reduced in size compared to our earlier designs. In addition to this reduction in size, the material used to produce the shading plate has changed from aluminum (as used in the second-generation cartridges) to 99.9% pure beryllium.

Diamond cantilever
A first for DS Audio, the Master 3 cartridge features the combination of a square pillar diamond cantilever with a Micro Ridge stylus. The cartridge body structure has been designed in such a way as to promote maximum rigidity. In addition to these features, the Master 3 utilizes internal wiring 1.6 times thicker than used in the second-generation cartridges in order to reduce impedance.

Dual monaural circuit design with three transformers and six selectable output patterns
The DS Master3 equalizer is a dual monaural circuit design with three transformers and completely independent L-channel and R-channel circuits. The power supply has been overwhelmingly strengthened to enable deeper, richer low-frequency expression. The DS Master3 equalizer has balanced and unbalanced outputs, and the low-frequency cutoff frequency can be selected from six different options.

Hand-made in Japan circuit board
Every component part used in our products is tested and evaluated by our expert Japanese technicians. In addition to using a specially printed circuit board, the twist-connection of the component legs is further evidence of DS Audio’s excellent attention to detail. Each and every product is hand-made and quality assured by our skilled engineers.



  • Signal output: Photo-electric Conversion
  • Channel separation: 27db or greater a(1kHz)
  • Weight: 7.9g
  • Output signal level: 70mV more
  • Cantilever material: Square Pillar Diamond
  • Body material: Ultra duralumin
  • Cantilever holder material: Stainless
  • Needle pressure: 2.0g~2.2g (2.1g is recommended)
  • Stylus: Micro Ridge


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