DS-EQ1 Optical Equalizer

When Ed made the decision to dust off his extensive vinyl collection, he was interested in finding out what the current state of vinyl playback was. During his research, he became intrigued with DS Audio’s optical cartridge technology and their customers' experiences.

Initiating a collaboration with Tetsuaki Aoyagi, head of DS Audio, Ed purchased the W2 optical cartridge for development and was impressed during his preliminary listening experiences. Compared to his reference MC cartridge, the W2 exhibited improved resolution, clarity and low frequency response. This motivated Ed to dive back into the world of vinyl playback, resulting in the first EMM Labs optical equalizer, the DS-EQ1, designed exclusively for interfacing with DS Audio optical cartridges.

Upon receiving the full line of DS Audio cartridges, Ed immediately recognized a common sonic signature within the line, increasing in its degree of refinement and depth from the entry-level E1 to the flagship Master1 cartridge.

The DS-EQ1 is designed with an obsessive desire to lower noise and distortion, and to extract every bit of detail and information from any DS Audio optical cartridge. The DS-EQ1’s circuits are all Meitner designed in-house, including its power supply, and are optimized for short and direct audio paths. EMM uses a custom made ceramic PCB for the equalization and amplification stages, which allow for the superior extraction of low level details in the audio.

From its proprietary equalization, class A amplification, and power supply systems, to its touch panel buttons and sophisticated aluminium chassis, the DS-EQ1 is the ultimate partner to any DS Audio optical cartridge.

“I found developing the DS-EQ1 both extremely interesting and highly satisfying. It was an honour to work on this project in close collaboration with DS Audio. I now find myself improving and appreciating my vinyl collection on a daily basis with DS Audio optical cartridges and the EMM Labs DS-EQ1 optical equalizer.”, -- Ed Meitner

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    Click to learn more about DS Audio’s optical cartridge technology.

Key Features

  • Proprietary & discrete equalization specifically designed for all DS Audio optical cartridges
  • Ultra low distortion
  • Custom designed discrete class A amplification
  • Front panel user selectable standard 50Hz RIAA response or with added 2nd order 15Hz high pass filter.
  • Optimized short audio paths throughout
  • Latest generation custom made power system
  • Custom aerospace-grade ceramic circuit board
  • Power and filter touch buttons
  • Precision-machined well-damped aluminum chassis
  • Works with all DS Audio cartridges
  • CE compliant
Power Supply:
Proprietary high-isolation resonant mode power supply for silent & eco-friendly operation
Universal 85V-260V 50/60Hz IEC Input Connector
Maximum 50W consumption


Inputs: RCA
Stereo analog outputs: XLR & RCA
Output impedance: Balanced XLR – 300Ω, Single-Ended RCA – 150Ω
Output Levels: XLR Output - 1V (+2.2dBu), RCA Output – 0.5V (-3.8dBu)
Finish: Fine bead blasted silver or black, with black insert and buttons
Dimensions (WxDxH): 438 x 381 x 102mm
Weight: 12kg

Support and Downloads

For general support and upgrades please contact your local EMM Labs dealer/distributor.
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