I have the cdt-100 with level 1 mods by Parts Connection,
this one is great!!!!
this one is great!!!!
What's not to like? Plays HDCD, upsamples, has tubes (allows you to roll to suit your tastes) and also offers a SS output if you're so inclined. Comes with standard footers and cones to tweak the set up. Pretty hefty power cord and an elegant/hefty remote. The Shanling also looks fantastic, no harm in that either. All this for under $2k? Helluva deal.
My only gripe: the damned numbers and markings on the remote are so small and faint they're near impossible to see.
The Music Hall Maverick is another unit to consider...from what I understand it's essentially the CDT-100 without tubes and in a plain box. Dan Wright is finalizing a version of his Signature Tube Mod for the Maverick. Having owned one of his tube modded Sony 999ES players, this is an option I'd give serious consideration to.
I'm rather familiar with the Shanling's sound (not modified), and find that it's a solid buy. Like most solid buys, you'd have to spend significantly more to justify spending more. It doesn't do anything annoying, which is good, and it's easy to listen to. It's emotionally involving and resolving enough to give you chills. I'd say, therefore, it's a great player, unless you only want to own very expensive, no-compromise players...then it would certainly be a compromise.
It's hard to say why so many newer products end up on the used market; but I don't think it always correlates with an absolute sense of the product's sound.
I heard the CDT-100 a couple of weeks ago, and I was quite impressed.
It was playing through a set of equipment with which I'm not familiar, but which has the reputation of being really top-flight: a Rowland amp (the 302, I think), a new Aesthetix Calypso line state, and Piega C10 LTDs. I'm sure the room contributed a lot - it is custom designed and built at a cost into the low six figures - but even if the other stuff is outlandishly good, the Shanling was still driving it and certainly wasn't degrading the sound.
The unit in question is stock, with no mods. The only thing I can compare it to is an SME 10 / Graham 2.2 / Rhea heard playing in the same setup (I just realized I don't know what cartridge he's using). I'm generally an analog fan, and I was surprised at how close the Shanling was to some pretty good analog in that environment. The big difference was that the analog extracted noticably more of the hall ambience on some classical recordings.
An anecdote on the Shanling. On one CD that my daughter knew but I didn't, there is a bell tolling in the distance. In the *far* distance. In the reproduced image, that bell is SO far in the distance, that I thought it was the bell from the church about a quarter of a mile away, rather than on the recording! Now THAT is a deep image!!!
First, I would like to thank you all for sharing your opinion on this CD player. Secondly, sorry for the term that I used; it should be "great or good or very good".
Yes, the look of this player is exotically beautiful and is a plus (wife factor); however, I am more concerning about the sound it produces since that is what I/we is/are after.
All comments are positive, but there is no based-line. I live in D.C area, and suprisingly, there is no local dealer carry this brand.
Again, what genre of music do you listen to ? Which Amp does it best match with? Do you have time to AB it with other units?
Thanks again for your comment.
I'm extremely happy with my CDT200. I intend to send it off for modification this winter.
Several things that I've noticed in the 3 months that I've had it. Break-in is subtle and requires some time - mine has about 60 hours on it now. The high end has become more revealing - still smooth.
Two tweaks that I highly recommend: Western Electric 396a's
and a new power cord. I've tried the Shunyata Research Black Mamba and Python (because I have/had some), Signal Digital A/C ZU Birth and JPS Digital.
The JPS hands-down is the one for me. Blacker soundstage nearly live dynamics. The first drum whack in Carmina Burana is nearly heart stopping. The noise floor seems much lower. I'm hearing things that I never heard before in material that I've listened to hundreds of times like Stewart Copeland's brushwork on Synchronicity (Tea in the Sahara maybe...)
The tube change resulted in greater separation in treble notes, a tad tighter bass.
I had a Shanling CDT 100 for a while also thinking that it would produce better results with redbook CDs but the 200 is its equal in that dept.
For 2 kilobucks it doesn't get better than this. For me at least.
(Other equipment - Krell KSL/KST100 Synergistic Research Kaleidescope and Harmonic Technology Magic and ProSilway II interconnects, Silverline Sonata 1 speakers,Monster M2.4 cables.)
I will also toss in my vote for the Shanling equipment. I must admit that I purchased my cdt-100 in large part because of how incredible it looks. I have lived with it now for several months and enjoy it thoroughly. Bang for the buck, it has all the right things going for it: great sound, gorgeous looks, quility construction, great ease of use and the right mix of features: hdcd, volume, digital out, adjustable feet, etc.
I would also toss in my vote for other Shanling and musichall equipment. I have since purchased the Shanling STP-80a integrated tube amplifier and a Musichall Maverick SACD player. Both are excellent. I'm saving up for a CDT-200 SACD player for another room. These are great components and fair prices that also have alot of class.
I'm using mine with a CJ MV60 and PV14L. I was initially concerned about too much tube in my system. Tried both the ss and tube.. once I switched to the tube output I had no looking back. I also like the cary, arcam fmj, and musical fidelity players. The CDT200 sounded good as well but even 1.5 yrs ago it seemed like SACD was on a short fuse.. so I decided to save about $1k and go to the t100. And who says audio can't look good... how many people would buy an ugly Ferrari? Do you pick an ugly wife? no.. do you pick a brainless bimbo? well not for long.. audio is no different it is all about balance...
I have had this player for 2 years now. I felt this was an incredible purchase for the price. The ability to roll the tubes was a plus. Changing the tubes resulted in an incredible sound that frankly, stopped me in my tracks to modify the unit.
However, as audio is a bug, I was bit hard after reading far too many glowing reviews of modified units. A most recent review regarding the Empirical Audio mod (equating it to a Meitner!! And surpassing it!) had me salivating. So I bit, I had it modified by two outfits, surpassing even the Empirical Audio modifications.
Without hesitation I can confidently claim I have never heard Redbook sound better, nor Vinyl for that matter. And if there is a vinyl rig that can beat this...then I am simply not worthy ;)