It has been 20 years since Shanling last launched a CD player – a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it small run of 300 units for the CD-T300 back in 2004. Now, the all-new CD-T35 is here to pick up where that left off but this time round, it will be limited even further, to just 99 units.
That’s all down to the availability of components that the company says are “crucial” to the history of Shanling and “critical” to its house sound.
This includes AKM’s AK4499EQ DAC, also used in Shanling’s M8 and M9 high-res music players. This flagship chipset was discontinued following a fire at the Japanese manufacturer’s factory in 2020, and Shanling has gotten its hands on the remaining units.
The CD-T35 also includes the Philips CD-Pro 2 – a popular CD player that utilises linear tracking, runs an advanced decoding system for error-free disc reading and is housed in an overbuilt die-cast metal body.
Shanling says its audio engineers have also had to reach into their last remaining stock of its favoured capacitors, wiring and solder material, meaning this player truly is a shrine to the Shanling sound.
Just like its predecessor, the CD-T35 has a three-legged design and a tubed output stage, made up of four hand-matched 12AU7 tubes that should add warmth and smoothness to the sound.
There is also a custom I/V stage, with a dual split power supply divided between the digital and analogue sections of the player. Outputs comprise RCA, balanced XLR and digital coaxial, as well as a USB-B input for using the CD-T35 as a standalone D/A converter.
However, the CD-T35 also has a trick up its sleeve – it is built on an Android-based operating system and powered by an octa-core Snapdragon CPU. This means the player can offer AirPlay and DLNA playback over wi-fi, plus access to streaming services like Tidal, Qobuz and Spotify.
Control is managed through the HD touchscreen on the CD-T35 itself, or via the Shanling companion app.
Want to listen through headphones? The CD-T35 has an optional headphone amplifier module, which offers a trio of headphone outs. This includes a single-ended 6.4mm, balanced 4.4mm and balanced XLR outs, with a choice of four gain stages that should be able to drive even the most demanding headphones.
This will set you back extra though, and the CD-T35 isn’t exactly cheap in the first place. The standard version will cost $17,000 (around £13,340), rising to $19,000 (around £14,910) when paired with the headphone amp section.
If that hasn’t scared you off, it’s available now.
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