Shanling CD-T100 CD Players

CD-T100

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
Toddc   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 30, 2008]
Strength:

Conveys the emotions of the music with accuracy and warmth, detail and pace

Weakness:

Causes one to spend much more on his or her cd collection!

After reading a few reviews of the CDT-100, I thought I'd put my two cents in...
These are just observations--
First, I bought this player after having owned many different cd players; I admit, it was my first experience with Tubes. I have owned too many cd players to list at length, but the likes of Linn, Naim, and Rotel, and Music Hall, as well as many analog turntables have been in my stereo for varying lengths of time.
The biggest and best help I can offer, is this: When I had this unit home, I did not have anything other than headphones hooked with a "Y" rca to 1/4" jack, to the Tube RCA outs. I had listened only for approx. a week this way, when I asked my wife to come take a listen to a disc of choral Christmas music by John Rutter/Cambridge Singers ("On Christmas Night"). I knew she liked the song "In the Bleak MidWinter", and so I cued that up, and had her put the headphones on. Mind you these things: My wife hates the headphones for listening. She also has seen so many audio pieces come and go that she doesn't much care about anything I bring home--just figures it will come and go. She has never taken to anything I've ever bought. Now, back to where I was....I cued up "In the Bleak Mid Winter", and had her put the headphones on. When I pushed play, she listened....and started to cry. She has never had a reaction like that ever, to anything I have owned, however long or briefly.
Fast forward to 2008: I am interested in building a stereo again. I haven't had any money to put towards anything of quality (true audiophile!--no money and expensive taste!!), but now have a little bit of savings each month; so at the risk of bugging her, I wanted to ask my wife's opinion about this whole thing, so I asked her if there were _ever_ anything in my 20 year history with her, any stereo piece that she felt connected with--that she wished I had never sold. Her response? "I liked that 'space-age' looking blue cd player you had." I have owned probably 30-40 different combinations (at least!) of cd players, turntables, pre/power/integrated amps, mini-monitors, floor standers, etc., and I had owned this tube CDT-100 for all of about 3 weeks total, before I got the bug, and traded it. It has also been 4+ years, since I played that piece of music for her. She could not tell you anything about the names of any of the audio gear that have graced the places we've lived. But she remembered this one!
I have to admit, I regret, in retrospect, letting it go also. I did not have any fancy audio gear to run it through in the month or so I owned it; however, I had a solid sounding stereo, simple as it was, with the CDT-100, running through simple rca to 1/4" cable, into a pair of Fostex PM 0.5 active mini-monitors, which I bought at a Music Instrument store (and which remain, in my humble opinion, one of the great untapped secrets in high end audio--any of the various music recording _active_ mini-monitors) on stands. Even now, I can still hear Jane Siberry's "Maria" cd, her lilting and apologetic voice in all its glory, and with warmth and detail exuding from the cd player/speakers combination. I recall I had not liked to listen to Jane Siberry's music much, prior to owning the CDT-100. But after hearing this cd played by the Shanling, it became a definite keeper! I wanted to hear more! I also recall I listened to all my cd's from beginning to end--glad to hear the emotion of the entire performance on each cd...and my cd collection grew in leaps and bounds, even in the short time I had it.
The good news is that the lesson is learned; and I can still own a Shanling CDT-100, or, if I have the dough, wait until I can afford a newer CDT-1000SE, which I believe takes the upsampling from 24/96, to 24/192, and might add a few other goodies into the mix. I honestly can't wait to add one of these players back into my life. The enjoyment it gave me is too much not to save for one. I think-? I might even have gotten my wife interested in this crazy hobby too--something that thrills me more than anything. If history has taught me anything, it is that the better a stereo piece is, the more accurately it interprets, and also the more emotion it interprets and conveys from the music source. The CDT-100's ability to convey the meaning of music is, in my opinion, truly convincing. And for an unbiased "testimony", my wife--a complete neophyte when it comes to audio gear/lingo--was so moved by a piece she is very familiar with, that it just makes sense to adopt one of these cd players (again), as a big part of our permanent home stereo.

Similar Products Used: As I mentioned in the review, no tube pieces prior, but I have owned everything from entry level (read 49 dollar Insignia DVD/cd players), through mid-fi (NAD, ROTEL, REGA, MUSIC HALL), and higher quality level (Linn, Naim) cd players, turntables, and even more pre-power-integrated combinations, along with everything from entry level through mid-fi, through high end speakers. This represents almost 30 years of experimenting with audio gear. (let's face it, I've lost a ton of money on this stuff, and I am ready to find something that I am thrilled with, once and for all!!)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bappy   AudioPhile [Dec 22, 2005]
Strength:

Good looks.

Weakness:

Bass, resolution, emotion, mid & lower part.

I heard them last night in a friend’s place, he was very happy with it’s good looks off course. I was little bit excited about this payer and wanted to listen to them for long time. After listening about one hour, I had ask him to stop, as I could not listen to it anymore. It was a disaster. To describe it, in one line, I must say, Chinese has long way to go in Hi End Audio, borrowing Sony and Phillip’s parts is not it’s all about. What I meant is they think putting Sony or Phillips parts will make them like Audio Aero or Cary etc. But that’s not all folks, there are so many things you do have to learn. Farley good sound for a cd player among the beginners, but for serious listener it is more than a decoration piece than a cd player. Very Very Good looking, 5 star for that. Good effort and keep trying and someday you might reach to the level where we will listen to you but not today sorry.

Similar Products Used: Don't know.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
sirjuke   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 23, 2005]
Strength:

If you really like music then this is the machine for you. It has got it all without getting into seriously worrying amounts of money.

Weakness:

No headphone socket. Not a problem for me, but it might be to someone else. Sonically none whatsoever!!

I have to confess that I have yet to hear an unmodified Shanling, so when you are reading this review please keep in mind that I am talking about a 3D Sonics hot-rodded version and not the stock model. Like other readers of these virtual pages I was looking for the best player that could eek out the very last drop of information from the now "ancient" medium of red book cd. The big problem for me is that there is not a lot of opportunity to test drive most of the equipment I like the look/reports of. There are very few REALLY decent hi fi shops on this island(I am open to correction), three by my reckoning. So I have relied heavily on sites like audioreview for information and a guy who I know who could have bought a house with the cash he has spent on hi fi. The Shanling did well in the reviews I read apart from a few gripes about lack of bass etc... So I did a bit of looking around. A company called 3D Sonics operating through Real Hi Fi were offering a much upgraded player and also the opportunity to get a standard player hod rodded. I had read about similar modded players on the 6 Moons site and decided to bite bullet. I got a 2nd hand player from Shadow Audio(Scotland) - great folks to deal with and had it sent to Real Hi Fi, again a steep and valuable learning curve, thanks Matthew. The player was then given the "treatment" by Thorsten Loesch(the guy who reviewed the Shanling for Enjoythemusic.com). I was told it would take up to 6 weeks to burn in. I left it playing on repeat for roughly 2 weeks solid and noticed a big difference over that period. Things appear to have settled down. This player is the best I have ever heard. It simply whips the ass off any other player I have yet heard, even a £4000 Audiomeca player played through a Graaf GM20 etc.... The way this player can lift out every detail and expose the smallest nuance in playing amazes me. The sound stage is huge in both width and depth. The sweet spot for the best listening has been expanded into most of the side of the room opposite to the speakers. I have heard instruments in tracks that I did not even know where there. It is possible to work out how many backing singers there are and where they appear to be standing. The highs are convincing without a trace of sibilance or hiss. The lows are powerful and true to the instruments. Voices sit well out on their own and are completely legible in a way I have never heard before. Any one of the reviewers who had any doubts about this player in earlier postings ought to check out the possiblity of having their player modified before diving into the arena again and buying a new machine. This player is not only visually a stunner, especially with the lights low and all the red valves glowing against the blue light of the acrylic platter, but a sonic masterpiece. It produces real music, not a close copy of it. The band is really just through the wall. It has brought back an enjoyment of the sounds of music that I have not had since I was a teenager. Wild! It does however ruthlessly expose the less than perfect mastering of some cds. Ah well, that is a fault of the disc and not the player. Nothing is left to hide behind.

Similar Products Used: Marantz CD63 SE Ah! Njoe Tjoeb Reference Model
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
raul5117   AudioPhile [Jun 12, 2005]
Strength:

Smooth Highs

Weakness:

Absent Bass

This is a subjective endeavor and circumstances will always color opinions. However, I have had many confirmations of an early lesson in buying audio: listen but don't look. This is a lovely unit BUT. I speny many hours listening to this unit with a friend who hoped to sell it. It actually made mu Rega Jupiter sound a tiny bit harsh but where does it send all the bass? It wasn't just short on bass- it was nearly lacking. On some recordings (eg.Patricia Barber's Modern Cool) this deficiency actually changed the character of the recording. Some of the bass was a rumble and not musical but mostly it was an error of omission and not just interpretation. There were three of us listening and I clearly pointed out the problems with the Shanling which the others recognized. The Rega and even a $400 Sony did not have this problem. I believe too much has been made of its GOOD LOOKS and so mediocre performance is forgiven. Yes, the highs are smooth and clear but you simply can't ingore so much of the musical content. THese works of art were MEANT to be heard a certain way. Sorry to those who are in love buit she's still a bad girl.

Similar Products Used: Linn, Jolida, Rega
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
kindofblue102   AudioPhile [Feb 01, 2005]
Strength:

Sonic performance, value, finish, overall quality and looks.

Weakness:

Virtually everthing on the remote. No balanced outputs. Cannot turn off displays.

If you're reading this review the Shanling CDT100 has obviously stirred you to find out more about it. As with so many other people maybe you are drawn by it's looks, it's quality or it's (for the most part) rave reviews. So much has been written about this player that maybe this review won't help you make an informed choice about buying (or not buying) one, but one thing is for sure - this pretty little CD player will be talked about in years to come as one of the most beautiful pieces of "hi-fi furniture" ever made. However, for the most part looks alone don't cut the mustard with serious audiophiles. At the end of the day it's the sound quality that counts. I've owned this player now for over a year. Initially, I was underwhelmed at it's sonic performance. I bought this player along with a Pathos Logos integrated amplifier (valve preamp and transistor power amp combined in one box) and on initial comparison with my TEAC P30 & dcs Purcell I felt the Shanling was lacking a little in mid to low bass response. Also, and of more deep concern, whilst there were the occasional flashes of brilliance, in particular whilst playing Cassandra Wilson's "New Moon Daughter" these were all to fleeting and were gone as quiclky as they arrived. In fact I was so disappointed I was one the verge of selling it. Then, I took my annual leave from work and spent it renovating part of our house. As I was home most of the day I played the Shanling pretty much from dusk til dawn. After ten days or so the machine took on a whole new personality. It left me breathless with it's exqusite tonal range, sensativity and openness. The previous lack of bass response was replaced with a rich, tight, low down orgasm of a sound. The lovely voice of Cassandra Wilson wafted through my house like cigarette smoke on a still summer's day. The smoothness, tonality, richness and clarity of this pretty little player cannot be underestimated. It's a real shame that reviewers like jandl100 and Gilbert Farla marked this player so badly. I'm sure they gave an honest review, but I doubt they gave this player the time needed to flower. I've tried friends Wadia and Mark Levinson CD players in my system and they are remarkable, but the Shanling holds it's own even in such exhalted company. Buy one, give it a hundred and fifty hours or so and enjoy it. It's worth the money on looks alone, but give it a springtime and it'll return you with an endless summer of beautiful music.

Similar Products Used: TEAC P30, dcs Purcell, Krell.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Amir   AudioPhile [Dec 31, 2004]
Strength:

warm, rich, smooth and dynamic

Weakness:

not at this price

It's great for 2000$. i think design of this player is so similar to musical fidelity nuvista player or maybe it's the same. the best player i listened under 4000$ is shanling. it's warm and rich sound in mid region and grain free high is it's best character. mid bass was also good but i didnot detect it's bass extension because speakers in test were not good for monitoring low frequency. in comparison with krell SACD this player is clear winer in cd playback but if you compare it with mark levinson No.390S this player (shanling) sound richer and warmer but less neutral and more background noise. mark levinson is more analog and more laidback with better timing and more organic sound with more focused image. about bass i couldnot say any thing. in overal this player is out of it's price class but is not end of transparency and resolution. this player for vocal music give you so positive energy with it's tube output stage

Similar Products Used: Mark levinson NO.390S
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
audiosurfer   AudioPhile [Mar 25, 2004]
Strength:

Built like a tank, but has the sound of a songbird.

Weakness:

Everything is on the remote, make sure to order a second one.

I have owned this unit for over two months now. I upgraded the stock tubes to the Western Electric 396A NOS tubes. Let me begin with the design of this unit. It is one of the best looking CD players out there. The Shanling looks expensive, well made and the build quality is incredible. Now the sound, which is way better then what you would expect for the price. The high frequencies hang in the air like cigarette smoke in a dark quiet room. Not harsh or glaring, but sweet and inviting. The midrange is rich and full, quite realistic with a sense of honesty and warmth. The bass is tight and very controlled with good authority. The ability to switch between the tube and SS output stages, allows for the addition of warmth and glow or sharpness and ultra resolution. For those of you who seek quality, the Shanling will impress in that department while looking elegant and very sexy. For those of you who enjoy smooth and relaxing music, the Shanling CDT100 should be very high on your short list.

Similar Products Used: CAL, Musical Fidelity, Rega
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rsmcphee   AudioPhile [Mar 02, 2004]
Strength:

Euphoric sound, smooth, non-fatiguing, lush midrange, natural open sounding and did I say looks? Elegant...high quality

Weakness:

If you lose the remote...it will be hard to control the unit. Not much

Shanling CDT100 I have owned this piece of art for a month now and I resisted writing a review for a while until I upgraded the tubes for the Western Electric 396A and allowing it to burn in for few weeks. I have encountered this Shanling CD player in the 2004 CES in Las Vegas this last January. Since then I could not stop thinking about the looks and sound of it. First of all let’s begin with the looks since it is the first thing you encounter when you see this unit. It is one of the best (if not the best) looking CD player out there. Visitors and friends who come to my house notice two things in my system immediately, one: Martin Logan speakers two: Shanling CDT100 CD player. The Shanling looks expensive and the build is just impeccable. The level of quality is obvious with first glance. It looks old school and modern at the same time. It is very nice indeed and looks sophisticated. Now, let’s move on to the sound. This is why you really buy equipment like this for the price it commands. The sound is very good for the money. I have a few months old Musical Fidelity A324 DAC that retails for $1200 and for the comparison, the Shanling is the one that I prefer. I love vocal based music such as Nora Jones, SADE, Diana Krall, and Stacey Kent and the Shanling produces this type of music with richness and warmth. The tube output makes the vocals seem richer and smoother sounding overall. It is definitely non-fatiguing in the long run. Once can say that it has a euphoric or addicting sound. It is hard to say if it is accurate in the overall presentation of music but the bottom line: it is very pleasing and relaxing to listen to the tube output stage. Furthermore, who cares about accuracy when you are so intoxicated with the music? I also love its flexibility to play CDs in various options. You want your music upsampled? It can do that. Do you want your CD on tube output and smoother? It will do that. You want more detail and dynamics? Switch to the solid-state output and you will get that too. Do you wan HDCD decoding? It has that too. I have a system that is very revealing consisting of Martin Logan Theater I, Martin Logan Ascent, Martin Logan Scenario, and Infinity HPS100 sub, Rotel 1066 processor, Nordost and Straight wire cables powered by Simaudio Titan 5 channel amplifier. The combination of my equipment with the Shanling can only be described as heaven. I go home and the first thing I do is listen to music. I can easily forget about dinner if my wife does not remind me that it is time to eat. At one point, my wife told me that if this CD player is a woman, she would be jealous. I do understand her concerns. The moment I had this in my system, I enjoyed music in a different level. I have had many CD players in my life….high end, mid-priced, and low-end and so far the Shanling is the one that will reside with my system for many joyous years to come. For those of you who seek quality, the Shanling will impress in that department while looking oh so elegant and timeless. And for those of you who enjoy smooth and relaxing music, the Shanling CDT100 should also be very high on your list.

Similar Products Used: Musical Fidelity, NAD silver series, NAD, Rotel, Denon, Meridian, Rega Planet and Rega Jupiter, Cary
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jandl100   AudioPhile [Jan 28, 2004]
Strength:

Striking looks. Quite good detail.

Weakness:

Lightweight sound. Limited soundstage depth. Poor value (at UK prices)

I had this unit on demo from one of my favourite dealers. Be careful with this one! Player has good resolution and a smooth treble, but 2 significant faults: 1) it is noticeably bass light - probably even lower-midrange-light! This may be system-dependent, but for me it robbed music of its natural fullness. 2) It is noticeably 2 dimensional - images are fairly flat and pushed forward of the speakers. To be honest, you can do better for the money. The Tom Evans-modded Pioneer Precision wipes the floor with it, for example, at a much lower cost. Make sure you get a home demo!

Similar Products Used: Perpetual Technology upsampler/DAC _ Sony 555ES transport. Mark Levinson 39 Audio Research CD2 Tom Evans modded Pioneer Precision Audio Maestro
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
tubes   AudioPhile [Aug 29, 2003]
Strength:

midrange purity and very dynamic..price..looks..built....

Weakness:

sounds a bit tizzy with bright recordings.Lack of lower bass control...

First of all this player looks STUNNING and the built is worth 5 times more than its list price,I guess like anything else in asia overhead is low and labour cost is low,but this does mean inferior design or assembley,infact on fit and finish this is on the same level as the Krells,ML and the Accuphase..its that good..but of course without performance all the above is useless..I audition quite a few $4-5K players and the comparsions with this unit is impressive,dead quiet drive,strong midrange purity,dynamic on both extremes but tends to be bright on some cd's,excells on vocals and strings but lacking in lower base tightness.Very warm signature with no feeling of coldness...all my reserves in buying this unit because of its asian origins has been erased,this player sounds terrific and looks fantastic...

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 15  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com