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In-depth Feature:  M-Audio DELTA 1010LT
Andy Mac writes: .

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Big Brother in the house
I wanted to see how the LT fared compared with its big brother, the Delta1010 – it’s a PCI card-based system too, but with a stand-alone 19” 1U rack unit housing the converters and audio connections. As we’ve seen, the Delta Control Panel is common to all units in the Delta range, and provides for up to 4 devices to be used simultaneously. Well that’s the theory, anyway – in practice, I experienced problems with both cards installed in my machine. Installation itself was easy, and the Control Panel found the second device straight away, but in applications such as Logic 5, even though I was using only one card at a time within the program, crackles & distortions made the system unusable. Increasing buffer sizes to the maximum settings had no effect – the only way to restore normal functionality was to disable one or other card using Windows Device Manager.

Soundwise, the two units were surprisingly similar. I’d expected to notice an obvious difference between the two, but this wasn’t really the case – in fact, the LT seemed to be initially more ‘impressive’ sounding. Doing a direct A/B comparison was tricky, as one card had to be disabled, then the other enabled and the machine re-booted in between, so I recorded test passages using a Sound Check reference CD and Steinberg’s Wavelab 4.0, running unbalanced audio into each card.

Wavelab revealed a difference in levels between the two recorded signals; the LT was ‘hotter’ – hence the more impressive sound. The Control panel for the Delta 1010 doesn’t let you tweak levels - you can with the 1010LT, so I tried different settings, and found that the signals were best matched with the LT using the ‘Consumer’ preset. With the levels matched, it was possible to get a better picture of what was going on – verdict: yep, they’re pretty darn similar!

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

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