DIfference between Delta 1010 and 1010LT?

I’m trying to understand why M-Audio 1010 costs twice as much as 1010LT. As far as I can tell these are the main functional differences:

1010 accepts balanced inputs, 1010LT does not
1010 has a slightly better signal to noise ratio
1010LT has 2 mic preamps (1010 has none)
1010LT can adjust analogue levels (1010 has just a +4/-10 input selector)

Am I missing something important, worth the extra money?

From a quick look on the M-Audio site, the 1010 comes with a rack mountable metal chassis containing all the I/O connectors and analogue circuitry, the 1010LT packs it all onto the PCI card (which probably explains the slightly worse S/N ratio) and just provides a cheap cable to connect up to the card. It may not seem like much of a difference but providing a metal box to put all the outboard electronics in is normally very expensive and that may well be reflected in the cost

In the 1010 the converter chips (AKM) are located in an external rack but the clock is still located on the PCI card and sent up and down the host cable. (not exactly ideal) The advantage like linuxdsp said is that the coverters are isolated from the computer so you get better noise and they also get a better power supply resulting in better sound. The 1010 is better suited for interfacing with pro gear than the LT. The converters in it are a bit dated by this point, first being released in 1999 I think, unless they’ve redesigned it.

All the comments are valid above, but with my long time use in studio and in live situations here are a few other issues and concerns.

I wouldn’t purchase an LT !

The original Delta1010’s cost is based on the little things that all add up to a more professional product for a serious studio.

  1. Outboard rack with easy selectable in levels on the back as opposed to cracking the computer case each time to adjust the levels.
  2. Can be used with a Patch bay and has the ability to use a longer cable to connect to the computer helps cable routing issues.
  3. Service is easier and upgrade to higher quality cables
  4. Balanced input and output

I’m sure I’ll think of many other points after I post my opinion.

Having dealt with the LT’s differences will force you to question your choice of the cheaper unit.

I have six of the original delta1010’s three racked up for recording/tracking live shows with 24 channels and a studio setup with another three units racked in a permanent manner interfacing with outboard gear and a 24 channel old school mixer. They work hard for me.

As for ad/da converts being outdated check out the spec’s. the only real world observable difference between them and newer chips is the later chips have changed do to production techniques. I challenge anyone tell the difference between them without a scope.

In fact, I challenge most digital based studios to be able with their DAW to produce a recording better then the old school Motown tracks recorded on a AMPEX three track tape recorder.

It’s easier to argue spec’s and have pissing contest then to learn to hear and mix a good recording.

Get out from in front of a computer and get behind a mixer and develop your craft !