Optical Cartridge Designer Interviewed by Analogplanet.com

We covered the introduction at last fall's The New York Audio Show of the DS Audio DS-W1 "Nightrider" Optical Phono Cartridge and Equalizer imported to American by Musical Surroundings. At the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show we had an opportunity to talk with the cartridge's 27 year designer Tetsuaki Aoyagi.

We also had a chance to listen to the new cartridge for a considerable length of time and found the sound to be "reel-to-reel" tape-like in its smoothness and drive and tonally notably uncolored. The cartridge and power supply, which also includes equalization (though not exactly RIAA because of the different operating principle) and sufficient gain for a line level input sells for $8500.

We sat down for an impromptu interview with Mr. Aoyagi under difficult acoustical and lighting conditions. The audio is not as good as we'd hoped for but if you listen carefully and make use of your volume control as needed, you should be able to follow the conversation—we think it's worth the effort.

PeterPani's picture

but inserting a mechanical piece of metal between signal and lightbeam. Never-the-less, one day I will buy an OPC. For vinyl it must be the best solution.

marmaduke's picture

The video really was quite helpful in getting the concept.
The song Shadow Dancing comes to mind as characterizing the process in the most basic form.
For what you receive the price seems fair.
Anything that has a favorable RTR comparison and sounds like nothing has my interest.

anomaly7's picture

Sounds a bit like the way the sound is read from motion picture film with the light bar on the side? Seems like this could have obvious benefits for sound reproduction with the lower mass of the parts. I'm guessing most of the money is in the RIAA and amplification side of things? Maybe they'll be a lower priced version some day for those of us with lower priced budgets?
I'm interested in having a listen-

Brother John's picture

web site last night and guessed It to be more like a $10,000- 12,000 combo so $8,500. sounds a heck of a lot better even though still out of my league. Thanks for the awesome Interview with the Japanese designer.
I hope It sells well and they are able to Incorporate trickle down technology In the future towards a more affordable model.

jarroyoeq's picture

Does it bring some good news on this?

BillK's picture

In particular I'm curious as to how it would compare to other cartridges at a similar price level like the Lyra Atlas let alone the Goldfinger Statement.

The price would actually be a steal given it allows you to save the five figures for a reference-level phono stage like the Audio Research Ref Phono 2 SE or above.