|Shanling/Underwood HiFi SCD-T200 Level-1 CD/SACD Player|
|Home Theater Audio Sources DVD-Audio/SACD Players|
|Written by Thomas Garcia|
|Thursday, 01 January 2004|
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In today’s multi-format, multi-media world, the Shanling’s main limitation is its ability to play two-channel SACD, HDCDs and standard CDs only. Unfortunately, this means the Shanling cannot take advantage of SACD discs that are encoded with multi-channel soundtracks, which are becoming much more prevalent with new releases.
Additionally, with a plethora of Universal Disc players hitting the market, the Shanling lacks the ability to play the other current competing hi-resolution format, DVD-Audio. Furthermore, the start-up time to initiate and play a disc is extremely slow relative to most players I’ve recently experienced but is typical of most SACD players in general.
To say that the Shanling SCD-T200 Level-1 player was attractive would be a massive understatement. With its high-tech appearance, utilization of superior parts and materials, exquisite attention fit and finish, the Shanling is simply a stunning piece of artwork. It commanded attention from everyone who was within eyesight of this component, but this would be irrelevant without its stellar performance to match its aesthetics. With both SACDs and Redbook CDs, the SCD-T200 is a reference quality performer. SACDs simply sound awesome, lending the music a sense of realism and palpability that is enthralling. On conventional CDs, the performance is equally if not more impressive, considering the confines of the format. The Shanling’s ability to extract the most out of a 16bit/44.1kHz source is extraordinary, giving new life to much of my CD collection. The SCD-T200 also gives the user welcome flexibility with two output stages, vacuum tube and solid-state, each with its own strengths and characteristics. By utilizing the volume control on the excellent remote, I was able to obtain world-class performance by directly connecting the player to a stereo amplifier. Its sonic strengths are many, with the only major caveat being that you are unable to play multi-channel SACDs or any DVD-Audio discs. For those who are normally wary of purchasing modified electronics, rest assured that this is a covered by a 1 year factory warranty mod with a one-year warranty. And though it may not accommodate every silver disc you own, what it does play is extremely satisfying and fulfilling. This player’s superior performance, combined with its stellar appearance, is an absolute knockout. Coupling this with undeniable pride of ownership, the Shanling SCD-T200 Level-1 SACD/CD player is a worthy candidate for anyone seeking to assemble the ultimate two-channel SACD/CD playback system.