Harmon Kardan T65c Turntable


Anyone familiar with the HK T65c Turntable?? I just picked up a real nice one for cheap. It seems like a well built turntable, and I notice the series was a favorite of Frank Van Alstine. Anyone ever use one. They used to be called a Poor Man's Linn Sondek. It has capacitance settings on it, and uses an ITO Carbon Fiber Tonearm, at 9.5 gram effective Mass. I was wondering about any mods, or such for it. Appreciate any input, Thanks, Ray
I own the T60 which is extremely similar to the one you just purchased.
It still works well after all these years.
No need for any modifications.
I suggest you just buy a Grado wooden cartridge and you'll be spinning for years to come!
The Grado brand was the choice of the dealer and it's a great match.
I as well at one time used the T60 for about 15 years before moving onto VPI. The T65C you have was a further refinement of the original T60. Van Alstine offered mods on the T20 and T30 if memory serves me correct. Basically he added and outboard power supply. I would say if it is working, just sit back an relax, it is a great turntable. Grados and Ortofon cartridges work best on this table, at least thats my experience. I would get a new belt for it, if it hasn't been replaced. Other than that plug, play and enjoy.
Thanks so much guys for the input!!! My main rig is a VPI HW19 MK.IV Turntable with a ZETA Tonearm. I wanted to get a way to play some of my better higher Compliant cartridges, like the Grado Signature TLZ...Shure v15VMR-LE....Audio Technica AT20SLa....Ortofon OM30...etc...It was either get another Tonearm, or a spare table that would do the job decently. I figured the table would be the easier route, than changing arms frequently. i tried a Technics SL1200 series, but wasn't happy. I found this HK T65c in mint condition, from Craigslist, it was an older womans, she was selling a whole Harmon kardon system. but I only needed the Table, she has everything, paperwork, receipt, manuals, etc...so it was a nice buy. i also just got my new belt in the mail yesterday, so im all set to go. I appreciate any other input, or tips you guys may have. thanks, Ray
BTW....my ZETA Arm is 16 gram effective mass, which is why i needed a lighter tonearm, or another table, the ZETA is best suited to Medium to Low Compliant cartridges, such as many moving Coils, Denon, and Sumiko's have done very well, and im sure that Benz would be ideal. Thanks...Ray
The T 65C also came with a disc stabilizer as well as HK interconnects that were covered in a translucent gold outer jacket. Damn nice cable for the time. I eventually replaced those with Audioquest Coral. Hope you got the disc stablizer if not you will need to use an aftermarket variety. Also the original mat on mine finally dried out and replaced mine with one similar from a Yamaha table. Allthough now there are many different aftermarket types available. Enjoy.
Hi Ferrari,
Yes, my table did come with the disc stabilizer, and the thick rubber mat. I was wondering if a replacement mat, by Michell or someone would be of any benefit to the table. I am having no problems with the original mat, but was curious. I have the cables that came with the table also, and as I said the new drive belt. It seems to be a real nice table, in both looks and design. This will be perfect for me to use these other great cartridges that are too compliant for my ZETA arm that is on my VPI. I do love the VPI HW19 MK.IV with the Power line conditioner. I have an extra one of these that VPI sent to me, and was considering using with the HK T65c turntable. I also have the Cardboard Protractor that came with the t65c....but I usually use the DB Systems Protractor, and double check with Geo-Disc and ZETA metal Protractor which also seems to be a Baerwald, as well as the HIFI News Protractor that came with the TEST LP, I have the Shure V15V Test LP and a Stereo Times Test LP. What do you use to check the Speed of your turntable? I have the Strobe Disc from VPI, and VPI recommends using a 2 prong wall outlet checker, from Home Depot or hardware store, it has a little orange light in the middle. It uses the line voltage to check the speed and Hertz. I always appreciate any pointers that I may not know about. The ZETA is a damn nice tonearm, but just not ideal for these MM cartridges I want to use. Thank You for your input thus far....Ray
I found that the quartz lock on the HK was always spot on, and left it in quartz lock mode.

I did use the cardboard protractor and later on used the Geo Disc as well, for confirmation of overhang.

My VPI is same as yours and use a VPI SDS with their strobe disc. Although mine has the Audioquest PT 7 tonearm with a Lyra Clavis MC cartridge.

Forgot to menention the feet are adjustable as well so it is possible to level the turntable. This model and the earlier T 60 had so many usable features, that one just does not see today.

A couple of years ago picked up the T-55C one step under yours on the cheap to have as back up. Average condition for its age, not mint as your, but nonetheless in very good order. Although I doubt the VPI HW19 MK IV will ever give up the ghost.
The VPI HW19 MK.IV is an unreal turntable. Amazing turntable, and I have auditioned alot. I like it better than any of VPI's current offerings. I have not heard the classic, and of course, im not counting the TNT. What kind of Light do you use to shine on your strobe disc when checking, or setting speed?? I too have the improved SDS, but have an extra Power Line Conditioner, which I may use with the T65c. I didnt know that about the leveling feet of the T65c. And I will plan on sticking with the Quartz Lock feature. Thanks. What color VPI do you have? How do you like that Lyra cartridge, Nice I bet...Thanks, Ray
The VPI MK IV has in my opinion very few peers. Mine has the piano black finish base. Weak part of mine is the Audioquest arm of which I plan a upgrade next year. The Clavis is a marvelous cartridge never tire of listening to it.

I have enough ambient light here and can read the strobe disc without the need for an additional light.

Just setup a VPI Scout for a friend of mine and became quite impressed with the JMW 9 tone arm. My go with a JMW 10.5 tonearm next year. But the jury is out on that one.
I spoke with Mike at VPI about a new arm for my HW19 MK.IV. Mine is also Piano Black finish. Mike told me that these tables were among the best they ever built, and reason for discontinuing, was that they were just too expensive to make. He said Id be better off keeping the springs, and not using the sorbothane pucks. He said the sound is just too good this way. But he did say that to put a JMW 10.5i Tonearm, along with new armboard would be $2100.00 and if I went with a B Stock arm, it would be more like $1300.00, but Im pretty im pressed with the ZETA arm, and cant afford that kind of change at this point in my life. Ray
The Zeta arm you have is one of the all time best. I would keep ot. To do better will be very expensive. A friend of mine has just picked up Alphason tone arm he no longer wants. Will look at that one in a few days. Back in the day was highly rated.

Yep I did away with the sorbothane pucks as well. The MKIV just sounds better with the springs.

But a new tonearm for me is still sometime next year.
Yes Ferrari,
The Alphason HRS100MC is the Titanium arm from Alphason in the 1980's. It is one hell of an arm as well. I believe it is 10.5 gram effective mass, so will work with alot of cartridges out there, and the armtube is filled with a foam substance to remove some resonance. It was a highly rated arm , in the days of the ZETA as well. Youd just need an armboard, unless your current armboard is a Linn mount pattern, both Alphason and ZETA are Linn Mount patterns, I think AUdioquest is as well, so you wouldn't even need a new armboard. Ray
Wouldn't you know it, here a few days later have had to press the T55C into service. Tonearm on the VPI needs a rewire service. Sounds damn good with the old Grado on it, not in VPI territory, but very good.
I have been reading many good things about this series of Harmon Kardan Turntables on a forum called the VinylCircle. There are several mods, and several users of these tables, they seem to have a very good reputation. No wonder it sounds so good. Ray
Do you know I might be able to find an HK T-65C?