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In-depth Feature:  M-Audio DELTA 1010LT
On a bang-for-buck basis alone, the Delta 1010LT is pretty hard to beat
Andy Mac writes: .

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You must have had your head in a bass-bin not to have noticed the latest buzzword in musical circles – ‘surround’. For those delving into the heady world of 5.1, a multiple output soundcard is going to come in pretty handy if you are doing anything audio in your computer, but even if surround sound mixing doesn’t float your boat, the idea of having not one or two, but ten inputs and outputs is kinda appealing – after all, more is, well...more! M-audio plugged a gap in the market with the affordable Delta 410, which offered eight analogue outputs along with S/PDIF I/O – now they’ve added the Delta 1010LT to the fold, which boasts 10 I/Os, and more.

So, is it a low-calorie slimline version of their flagship Delta 1010, or a beefcake Delta 410 on steroids?

Let's Go
First thing that struck me on opening the box, was its physical size – it’s tiny! Hey, don’t get me wrong, I’m not being size-ist here, but having read the impressive list of features, I feared it might be a chunky full-length beast, the kind you have problems trying to squeeze into the cable-infested innards of your average PC. But no, it’s compact, which makes fitting it a breeze. All connections are via two sets of breakout cables on 15-pin and 44-pin D-sub connectors; there are no other switches on the mounting plate, which means no scrabbling around the back of your computer once everything’s plugged in. Thoughtfully, all connectors on the breakout cables are labelled and colour-coded – just as well, really, as there are quite a few of them.

The larger of the two breakout cables handles the audio - most of the audio inputs and outputs are unbalanced on gold-plated female RCA (phono) connectors, but the two XLR-F connectors give the game away that the 1010LT has some tricks up it’s sleeve; onboard are two pre-amps which can handle mic or line level balanced inputs on these two channels.

Selecting input levels for each (mic +30/+19dB or line +14/+3dB) is achieved by changing jumpers on the PCI card – herein lies gripe number one; once the card is installed, it’s well-nigh impossible to change jumper settings without physically removing the soundcard, something I personally wouldn’t want to bother with once everything’s plugged up and nice & cosy.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Delta 1010LT price from audioMIDI
  • Delta 1010LT Pages @ M-audio
  • Download 1010LT Manual (.PDF)

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