Comments on the Shanling CD T-100 CD player

Anybody try out the Shanling CD T-100 CD player. The dealer in town just picked up the line and has been trying to get me to take one home.
There is a review in digital in the threads. I have one - take it home. You will love it!
I would be very interested in this machine. In addition to HDCD capability, you have choices of tube output or solid state output. 24/96 switchable upsampling, & volume control. Tweakable & already upgradable. My one reservation is the top-loading.
Well, perhaps I will get killed in this thread, but I believe honesty is preferable to going along in order to get along.

The Shanling T100 CD player is very much overhyped.

I admit that the first words I uttered upon seeing the picture early this year was, "Wow". The silver finish, the exposed tubes, the lighting...

However, audio is not about looks, audio is about sound. I wish that we audiophiles were sometimes blind(literally) when we looked at new equipment. I wish we weren't such slaves to faceplates, blue LEDs, bird's eye maple, or piano black lacquer. I too, am drawn in by beautiful equipment. But, sonics should flat out be the most important thing.

I have heard this player, albeit with the stock tubes, and I have to say that it left me quite disappointed. Especially, when it comes to the asking price. I will not say it is a bad sounding player, indeed it is not. But, at $2000, I do not see anything of value with this player. Other than looks, how can the price of the Shanling be justified?

In my multiple listening sessions, I found the player to sound slow, veiled, and a bit "fuzzy". I am one of Audiogon's tubeophiles, but either the player itself, or stock tubes hide much of the music's detail. I do not find the Shanling superior to my Sony SCD333ES SACD player's Redbook playback in almost any area. In fact, I find the Sony ES to be comfortably superior.

I qualify my statements about the player in I have heard people mention that tube rolling opens up things positively. Still, at the price, I don't find it out of the realm of possibility to include a good Euro tube complement(Sovtek, Svetlana, EH, JJ, Ei), if they will improve the sonics.

There are many other players I would opt for over the Shanling.

One thing that I truly worry about is build quality. The player certainly does not possess the fit and finish of BAT, Cary, Granite, Linn, Meridian, or Wadia. These are the companies that Shanling is competing with at this price point. Each is at least an excellent sounding player. I don't even think that Arcam, Musical Fidelity, Rega, or Rotel are eclipsed by the Shanling's build.

Having been on the receiving end of poorly constructed Chinese CD players, I know first hand that in the year 2002, their quality is not yet up to the standards of equipment produced in North America, Europe, or Japan. In time, I do not doubt that Chinese equipment will exhibit the same quality as those who set the current benchmark.

While I am thrilled with my Music Hall MMF25, at $600, it makes sense to me. I can't think of any players near its cost that compete with it. When one jumps over the $1500 price level, they are into serious competition. Sorry, but I will opt for a player with better sonics, built by a company that has established itself with first rate product and customer service.
I shurely wont kill you;But it is a strong opinion ,on very limited contact with the Shanling.
For mysrlf i am the proud owner since may-02.
In the beginning I too was not impressed with the sound ,but with time it is better and better.(That it looks nice are a +
It is extremely sensitive to set-up,like an old Linn lp-12, and you MUST change the tubes to NOS W.E.396A.then you have a player in 4-6000$ class. And dont spend money on uppgrading,if you are patient,allways use the tube-out,and set it in 24/96 i am shure you cant get a better "tube-CD" at the moment.
And for build-q-lity ,it is like a tank,so it is old "mytes" that China makes only crap. They do but so we do in Europe and America.