JAPAN’S DS Audio, a pioneer and currently sole manufacturer of the optical phono cartridge, wants no secrets – to that end, the company is releasing details of its technology publicly for the benefit of other companies and the vinyl-loving masses.
CEO and chief designer Tetsuaki Aoyagi wants to see the benefits of optical technology incorporated into many more high-end audio systems. So, he says, rather than keeping the relevant knowledge and spoils to himself, he is publishing, free of charge, DS Audio’s technology and expertise in order to help others enter the market.
“My goal is that optical cartridges move from being ‘unique’ to ‘popular’,” he explains.
Currently, DS Audio’s optical cartridges require their own equaliser/phono stage, because the technology differs from the traditional MM or MC cartridge. By making public the technology, Aoyagi is also hoping that manufacturers of high-end electronics will begin to build in optical cartridge-friendly tech into their phono stage and amplifier designs, doing away with the need for an external unit.
The circuit diagrams are now freely available on the company’s website.
Manufacturer considering designing a phono stage compatible with optical cartridges are also invited to contact DS Audio for a review the proposed design, with no license or consultancy fee. Circuit diagrams and samples of the finished product can then be sent to DS Audio for final checking, after which details of the product will be published on their website as compatible with DS Audio cartridges.
Since 2013, DS Audio’s optical phono cartridges have earned wide acclaim from the global audiophile press.