Madrigal cartridge loading?

I have an old Madrigal cartridge and I'm trying to learn the correct output voltage/cartridge loading for it.

Does anyone know the answer?

The second part of my question is- if my pre-preamp, a Tom Evans Micro Groove, is set for a 20-30 ohm loading and my Madrigal’s loading is different from that, will I be sacrificing audio quality when I run the Madrigal through the Micro Groove at the wrong loading?

Can you help me?

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You can find listings for the Madrigal Carnegie One and Carnegie Two at:

There's not much info on the Two, but the One is spec'd at .28mV with a VTF = 1.5 - 1.8 gm. The load is spec'd at 30 - 47K ohms, which doesn't tell you a hell of a lot. IMO, establishing the proper load has everything to do with good sonics, and you can usually find a good (starting point) optimum load by multiplying the coil resistance of the cartridge by 25. Unfortunately, its not listed. You could measure it easily using a sensitive volt-ohm meter. Most cartridges fall somewhere between 4 - 30 ohms or so.

In the absence of the right info, I'd take an educated guess that it's around 30 ohms, because manufacturers typically use the coil resistance for the low end of the range (in this case 30 - 47K) If I'm right, a good starting point for your cartridge loading would be around 750 ohms plus or minus.

On the other hand, it could be much lower than 30 ohms since it's such a low output design and probably doesn't have many coil windings. My advice would be to start around 400 ohms and if the bass is muddy, increase the load until it's clear and defined. If it's lacking bass and the highs are glarey, the load is probably too high. Reduce it until you get good bass response.

Thank you for the informed response

I have to send the Tom Evans unit back to England to have the loading setting change, so it's a big hassle. Is it worth it?

Or does anyone know a place in the U.S. that can reset the loading if need be?
If anybody could help you with local service, it would be Tom Evans. I'd write to them and ask if they could direct you to a USA service station.

I don't know any design particulars about that unit, but since all cartridges it seems have different load requirements, I feel they must have made provision for easily adding load resistors. Ask them about that too.
How long have you had the microgroove, and what is your opinion of it. Everything I've read about Tom Evans in 6 Moons sounds fantastic.
Thanks, Ken

More than you may want to hear:

I have had the Tom Evans for 3 years, but for most of the 3 years I have experienced a series of cartridge/stylus problems that have left me unable to fully enjoy the unit.

I spent 13 months and almost $1,000 dealing with van den Hul / Stanalog their importer in order to have my original Rowland cartridge retipped. When I finally got it back after to trips overseas I found out I would have to send the Tom Evans unit to England for correct loading. That’s what they said to do. Big hassle and extended wait, not to mention shipping costs.

I would not buy a unit that required this again. I had a Roland Coherence a while back and loading was user adjusted. Much better.

Finally get the cartridge back and after screwing with it off and on for more than another year I just said screw it and reinstalled an old Madrigal cartridge I had. That’s what eventually led me to my AudiogoN post.

I completed wasted all this time and money fooling with the retipping and now to get the blasted Tom Evans in tune with my cartridge, I’ll have to ship it off again.

So the answer to your question is yes, I think the Tom Evans unit is undoubtedly a good one, but analog, which I love, is already enough of a hassle and having the Tom Evans loading complications is pouring on one more hassle I would live without next time.

Also, though I received a few helpful answers to my questions via AudiogoN, Audio Asylum provides much more informed advice/information about analog.
In case this response is not too late, I had a Madrigal Carnegie a number of years back, until it broke down and could not be repaired. It sounded wonderful. I do not know whether it was the Carnegie 1 or Carnegie 2.

I loaded it with the 3 ohm setting on my MC transformer, into a 47K preamp MM.

I am told that the actual load on the cartridge may have been about 400 ohms.


Best to stick with the "X" versions of the Tom Evans phono stages which have adjustable loading...