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There is an issue with testing devices which already are part of your reference system. You can't reference them to the reference system. Each part of my system is supposed to be a ‘reference’ of its kind. This same reason forced me to spend far more time than usual when I wrote a review of Soulution’s 710 amplifier for Audio magazine.

I had to start by revisiting all the reviews I’d done using this amp as a reference to draw certain universal conclusions. Ditto for the Lektor Air by Ancient Audio. Since 2006 I relied on the Lektor Prime. Although I never claimed it was the best player in the world, its very well balanced sound, predictability and user-friendliness all made it a great ‘reference’ deck. Furthermore I only listened to three players that were clearly better – the Jadis JD1 MkII+JS1 MkIII, Reimyo CDT-777+DAP-999EX and last but not least Ancient Audio’s own Lektor Grand SE. There may have been a few more turntables which sounded better.

Replacing the Prime with the Air was a huge personal step forward. The sonic signature remains within certain boundaries that Jarek Waszczyszyn has set for all his products. Even so this new integrated machine from this amazing designer comes much closer to the twice as expensive three-box Grand SE. Surely it's not on the same level but the leap forward is so huge that the remaining differences aren't that relevant anymore.

My personal Air was a bit tweaked from the very beginning. Previous experience with upgrading the stock capacitors in the Prime and Grand units to V-Caps had me order my new Air ‘V-capped’ from conception. Ancient Audio has embraced V-Cap's Teflon-film/tin-foil units for years. Then Mr. Chris Ven Haus from VH Audio released his latest hit, the CuTF capacitors with copper foil/Teflon-film makeup. Those would become part of this project from the start.

Another upgrade I suggested was replacing the brass spikes with finite elemente Cerapucs. I also ordered my personal unit with Rhodium-plated Furutech sockets which better fit my interconnects. The standard sockets are from Neutrik and not popular among some audiophiles whilst being highly regarded by others, Mr. Waszczyszyn included. The last upgrade I’d already used for the Prime was Electrocompaniet’s Spider. This replaces the stock disc puck. That's how the new version above stock was created. At first I thought to name it High Fidelity Edition but as vanity is no virtue I finally decided to give credit to the key upgrade ingredient of the V-Caps. The final name thus became V-Edition.

Again it’s not easy to review a device one has used for a long period already. The Air became my reference comparator for all other such components since I bought it. It appeared in reviews like the Loit Passeri, Soulution 540 but also in certain turntable articles like the SME 20/3 and the Scheu Analog Premier Mk2 + Scheu Classic Mk2. There I might have pointed at some minor weaknesses of the Air but those were rather the exception.