Len Gregory (A/K/A "The Cartridge Man") R.I.P.

This is without a doubt one of the saddest/creepiest experiences I've ever had: Len Gregory, "The Cartridge Man" has for 30 years or so been manufacturing analog playback accessories, among them modified cartridges, a handy digital level and an excellent digital stylus force gauge featuring rechargeable batteries.

I used the stylus force gauge for about 15 years until the batteries no longer took a charge, and then I put it aside. I reviewed it in Stereophile in 1999:

"... This neat little digital-readout device sells for $299 - a little more than a third of the cost of the Winds gauge - currently the industry standard. ... One thing I really like about the new gauge is that, unlike the Wind's weighing beam - which protrudes from the side, ... the Cartridge Man's beam is well protected. I used a 2g brass weight lab-certified ... the Cartridge Man measured the weight as 1.98g, which for me is more than adequate."
Michael Fremer, Stereophile, 2/99, P51-52

But I kept using the digital level. For some reason today I decided to resurrect the stylus pressure gauge so I took it apart (voiding the long since lapsed warranty) and noted the unusual battery. I decided to contact Mr. Gregory after all of these years to ask about the unusual battery (which I later found online). I emailed him around 4PM:
-----Original Message----- From: Michael Fremer [mailto:mfremer@analogplanet.com
Sent: 28 October 2020 22:16
To: thecartridgeman@talktalk.net
Subject: Hello Cartridgeman!!

Long time since I’ve contacted you!

Hope you are surviving Covid-19 lockdown by listening to a lot of music!

I still regularly use your digital level gauge (you misspell it "guage" on the website)…

And I have the Digital stylus force gauge too but it no longer takes a charge.

The LED lights up when the walwart is connected to it but that’s all that happens.

I figured since it’s around 20 years old, I’d open it up and "void the warranty".

I see inside a green wrapped battery pack and wonder if you have the part number or whatever so I can try replacing it to see if that gets it working again?

Any help you can give me most appreciated!

Michael Fremer
editor analogPlanet.com
Stereophile senior contributing editor

Not long afterwards I received this email from "Leonard Gregory":

I am very sorry to tell you that Leonard died this evening, quite suddenly.

Jean Gregory

PeterPani's picture

An old british friend of mine was very close to Mr. Gregory and from his tellings he must have been a very warm and helpful person. During the years I used an isolating plate between headshell and cartridge and a modified Grado from the Cartridge Man. R.I.P.

simes_pep's picture

I contacted Len in the early 90’s regarding modifications to a Thorens TD150 TT detailed in the UK HiFi press. He was good enough to share his insights and I applied them to the TD160S I had. I also made a visit to Len, in his workshop/home and he was happy to demonstrate and share his knowledge & insights.

samman's picture

After he read your email, he immediately dropped over after reading that you opened up the gauge and voided the warranty. LOL. Seriously though, may your friend rest in peace.

Glotz's picture

Rest in peace.

Jim Tavegia's picture

It is most sad to hear of anyone who still has much to offer and given much to music lovers leave us too soon. Condolences to his family. RIP.

eugeneharrington's picture

That is so sad. RIP Mr. Gregory.

PaleGreenGhost's picture

I've just stumbled on this post after trying to access the Cartridge Man website to no avail and suddenly having a fear that something may have happened. Gutted. I dealt with Leonard a couple of years ago when purchasing a Music Maker cartridge. I wasn't confident with the set-up (my first 'expensive' cartridge) and, as we realised we both lived in London, Leonard suggested I bring the deck to his house and he would personally install the MM3 at no extra cost. My partner and I ended up spending a few hours with Leonard (and his pack of rescue dogs) talking about music, listening to his home system, and he even sent us on our way with a free test record and a bottle of wine for the road! A lovely experience and, I should also say, a fantastic cartridge. My thoughts go to his wife and family. RIP Leonard.

jasondixon's picture

I met Len a couple of times, both times at his house, where I was touched by our mutual love of rescue animals. I was one of his 'guinea pigs', as he called us, for his Music Master cartridge, which has adorned my turntable for years now, and I suspect always will. He was such a generous gent! I'm absolutely gutted. So sorry for his partner.

seanf's picture

i was just looking to contact len for a cart rebuild , very sad to read this news , condolences to the family