DS Audio Grandmaster Optical Cartridge System L5 - Styli/Cartridges

DS Audio Grandmaster Optical Cartridge System L5
  • DS Audio Grandmaster Optical Cartridge System L5
DS Audio Grandmaster Optical Cartridge System Level5
NZ$ 98,999.99 including GST
NZ$ 86,086.95 excluding GST
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Enter the next generation…
enter Grand Master.

DS Audio - Grand Master

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

The new Grand Master 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 greatly increased from 40mV to 70mV. The Grand Master cartridge offers a
greatly improved S/N ratio when compared to its stable mates, resulting in an even lower noise floor and far greater musical clarity.

Weight of shading plate reduced by more than 50%

The implementation of independent left and right channel LED’ s 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 aluminium (as used in the second generation cartridges) to 99.9% pure beryllium.

Diamond cantilever

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

Power unit and equalizer unit are completely separate units

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.

Total of 6 optional low frequency cut off point

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.

The DS-GRANDMASTER Optical Cardridge System comes complete with a matched pre-amp which powers the active cartridge and provides a line level source via Fully balanced XLR outputs and offers a choice of outputs and low frequency response options, the DS Grandmaster equalizer features three sets of RCA and XLR outputs and three separate low frequency cutoff points. Each low frequency contour is accessed by its own dedicated single-ended RCA or balanced XLR output for a total of six sets of dual-mono outputs, providing ultimate flexibility.


Grand Master Optical Cartridge
Signal output
Photo-electric Conversion
Channel separation
27db more(1kHz)
Output signal level
70mV more
Body material
Ultra duralumin
Cantilever holder material
Needle pressure
2.0g~2.2g(2.1g is recommended)
Micro Ridge
Grand Master Equalizer for Optical Cartridge
Output voltage
Output impedance
RCA 120Ω XLR 120Ω
Pre amp input impedance
More than 10kΩ
Input terminal
RCA terminal
Output terminal
RCA terminal×3, XLR terminal×3
25.1kg(Equalizer unit) , 29.8kg(Power unit)

“The Grand Master is so truly supreme in resolution, transparency, spatial recreation, neutrality and any other parameter I can name that it’s impossible for me not say what I usually try to avoid:‘This may be the best cartridge I’ve ever heard.’”
Ken Kessler Hi Fi News 2021

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