Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd gen - piece of shit? D :

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RobC
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Post 15 Mar 2023

Everything is set up.

Goldwave measured -69 dB noise peak.

Reason's big meter is at -70 dB

Doesn't matter if the XLR is plugged in or not.
Measured with the preamp turned all the way down.

ASR's SINAD alone measured -102 dB! Even if that has 2 mic ins. It should be the same as solo.

Currently I want so send it back and tell them they can shove it up their's...

And yes, this is ONLY the mic in.

What gives? Is it this crappy, or am I missing something? Noise peaking at -69 dB... nowhere -102 dB...

Update: at 44.1 kHz, we're down to -94 dB, when recording with nothing plugged in. But that's still a damn joke!

RobC
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Post 15 Mar 2023

Hmm, can't edit my post!

Anyway, I see now that it's not the peak that gets measured, but the whole spectrum. I THINK it's a bit better, but I don't see why it isn't shared, what peaks we can expect, so that we don't get surprised. : P

Yeah, electrical engineering is really my least favorite thing.

Anyway, the headphone out is alright with the ATH-E70 IEM, though I still hear noise. - Clearly not a Topping L30 II.

Generally, it's alright for the price.

The mic preamp and ADC seems to sound otherwise fine, but I definitely freak out from noise issues. I'm starting to see ghosts. : P

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StephenHutchinson
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Post 15 Mar 2023

I have the same interface. I had major issues setting it up with both Windows and Mac... now I only use it for guitar and limited voiceover stuff. The volume is so low and it's annoying as hell to setup but I now have it permanently on my PC. I also have a $20 Ugreen audio thingy and it's just great for pretty much everything.
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RobC
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Post 16 Mar 2023

StephenHutchinson wrote:
15 Mar 2023
I have the same interface. I had major issues setting it up with both Windows and Mac... now I only use it for guitar and limited voiceover stuff. The volume is so low and it's annoying as hell to setup but I now have it permanently on my PC. I also have a $20 Ugreen audio thingy and it's just great for pretty much everything.
Setting it up kind of worked for me, but I also want to be able to use my other gear in Reason. It doesn't like ASIO4ALL with its own driver present. So, gotta come around that.

The preamps and ADC seem to do well in the end ~ they could have left the headphone amp and DAC out, and just sell it as a recording and digitizing gear, without all the shovel-ware. But I'm glad I can finally record professionally. Of course, I still want high-end, if not state of the art mic preamp and ADC, later.

I have a Topping E30 II and L30 II for DAC and Headphone Amp. 150 EUR each, but high-end and state of the art devices, respectively. Not bad for 150!

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QVprod
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Post 16 Mar 2023

Focusrite Scarlett interfaces are very highly recommended but it’s super entry level equipment. Decent value for the money though so you should still get some mileage out of it.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 16 Mar 2023

QVprod wrote:
16 Mar 2023
it’s super entry level equipment.
I would say that goes for every entry-level product in every product range from every manufacturer. I have a Scarlett Solo that is obviously entry-level (but rather nice tmo), while I won't call my Scarlett 18i20 and Scarlett OctoPre entry-level.
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QVprod
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Post 16 Mar 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
16 Mar 2023
QVprod wrote:
16 Mar 2023
it’s super entry level equipment.
I would say that goes for every entry-level product in every product range from every manufacturer. I have a Scarlett Solo that is obviously entry-level (but rather nice tmo), while I won't call my Scarlett 18i20 and Scarlett OctoPre entry-level.
Sorry to tell you, but all of the Scarlett gear is basically the same quality. The only difference is the number of inputs. The Octopre is just the 18i20 without the audio interface. I've owned both an 18i20 and 2i2 in the past. Of course that doesn't mean that it won't sound good, but if you want an audio quality upgrade from Focusrite you'd have to buy a Clarett.

I say super entry level because the "entry level" version (or the cheapest product) for every company has various levels of quality. Since the Scarletts I've upgraded to an Audient ID14 and then later to an UA Apollo Solo and both, though on the lower side of the totem pole of each of their respective product lines, were noticeable upgrades of what preceded it in overall sound quality (both converters and preamps).

Scarlett < ID14 < Apollo Solo

Goriila Texas
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Post 17 Mar 2023

Facts. I gave my son my old 18i20 1st gen because the converters are trash but he's just starting out in music. I never understood what all the fuss was about getting good converters until I got my RME UFX+. My mixes got cleaner when I ran out-the-box with the 18i20 because it wouldn't reproduce the low-end from my audio. I didn't know that was a bad thing until I got my RME and with more research understood that converters are supposed to be as accurate as possible to the original audio. After months of using the RME I hooked the 18i20 back up and it sounded like trash to me.
QVprod wrote:
16 Mar 2023
crimsonwarlock wrote:
16 Mar 2023


I would say that goes for every entry-level product in every product range from every manufacturer. I have a Scarlett Solo that is obviously entry-level (but rather nice tmo), while I won't call my Scarlett 18i20 and Scarlett OctoPre entry-level.
Sorry to tell you, but all of the Scarlett gear is basically the same quality. The only difference is the number of inputs. The Octopre is just the 18i20 without the audio interface. I've owned both an 18i20 and 2i2 in the past. Of course that doesn't mean that it won't sound good, but if you want an audio quality upgrade from Focusrite you'd have to buy a Clarett.

I say super entry level because the "entry level" version (or the cheapest product) for every company has various levels of quality. Since the Scarletts I've upgraded to an Audient ID14 and then later to an UA Apollo Solo and both, though on the lower side of the totem pole of each of their respective product lines, were noticeable upgrades of what preceded it in overall sound quality (both converters and preamps).

Scarlett < ID14 < Apollo Solo

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 17 Mar 2023

QVprod wrote:
16 Mar 2023
Sorry to tell you, but all of the Scarlett gear is basically the same quality.
I totally agree with that. In my view, these days, entry level doesn't mean that it is worse in quality, it means it has limited functionality in comparison to the more 'pro' stuff. I did point out that I think the Solo is rather nice.

Besides that, I don't buy-in to the whole AD/DA converter quality craze. I see people buying high-end converters, then running them into rather expensive monitors, and setup all that in a completely untreated room. Or, for the other side of the converters, get crazy expensive microphones and then record mediocre (at best) performances with it, or again, record in an untreated space. The perceived difference in converter quality is completely lost outside high-end professional studios.

Of course someone here is going to reply that you can hear the difference, but remember that brains are liars :puf_wink:

Now, for pre-amps, that is a different story :puf_bigsmile:
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Goriila Texas
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Post 17 Mar 2023

You right bro people who spend thousands of dollars on interfaces with good converters are stupid and don't know what they're doing. Just stick to the 18i20 I'm sure it's just as good the other interfaces 3x it's cost. Look at how much money you saved by being smarter than us. :clap:




crimsonwarlock wrote:
17 Mar 2023
QVprod wrote:
16 Mar 2023
Sorry to tell you, but all of the Scarlett gear is basically the same quality.
I totally agree with that. In my view, these days, entry level doesn't mean that it is worse in quality, it means it has limited functionality in comparison to the more 'pro' stuff. I did point out that I think the Solo is rather nice.

Besides that, I don't buy-in to the whole AD/DA converter quality craze. I see people buying high-end converters, then running them into rather expensive monitors, and setup all that in a completely untreated room. Or, for the other side of the converters, get crazy expensive microphones and then record mediocre (at best) performances with it, or again, record in an untreated space. The perceived difference in converter quality is completely lost outside high-end professional studios.

Of course someone here is going to reply that you can hear the difference, but remember that brains are liars :puf_wink:

Now, for pre-amps, that is a different story :puf_bigsmile:

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 17 Mar 2023

Goriila Texas wrote:
17 Mar 2023
You right bro people who spend thousands of dollars on interfaces with good converters are stupid and don't know what they're doing.
Yep, that was NOT what I said.

I can put words into your mouth too: So you say people who don't spend thousands of dollars on converters are stupid?
Goriila Texas wrote:
17 Mar 2023
Just stick to the 18i20 I'm sure it's just as good the other interfaces 3x it's cost.
Yep, that is also NOT what I said.

Let's put this one around: So I do need to buy a 3x more expensive interface to get something that is any good? Or anything that costs less than 3x more expensive gear is garbage?
Goriila Texas wrote:
17 Mar 2023
Look at how much money you saved by being smarter than us. :clap:
Hmmm... It seems clear to me who is thinking he is the smartest one here.

You certainly act as if you feel attacked about your choices. Now ask yourself why that is. Me, I don't care what you think about my choices. I just get the stuff I like. So, you cannot gaslight me into thinking I'm using inferior equipment because... well, you say so. Not going to happen :lol:
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guitfnky
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Post 17 Mar 2023

quality interfaces are obviously super important, but you also have to kinda go out of your way to find one that’s not any good.

interfaces are one of the biggest “diminishing returns” pieces of gear involved in recording audio. if you can hear the difference, that’s great, but I guarantee your listeners can’t tell whether you’re using the cheapest Behringer interface or the most expensive RME. I think once you start paying more than the base Focusrite models, that’s where you’re really getting into the budget range where you’re starting to pay more to get less, in terms of improvement.

if you’ve got the money to spend and it’s worthwhile for you, go for it, but don’t think for a second it makes any noticeable difference to the listener. if you’re a good mixer, your mixes will sound good no matter what interface you use. if you’re a bad mixer…you know the rest.
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QVprod
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Post 17 Mar 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
17 Mar 2023
QVprod wrote:
16 Mar 2023
Sorry to tell you, but all of the Scarlett gear is basically the same quality.
I totally agree with that. In my view, these days, entry level doesn't mean that it is worse in quality, it means it has limited functionality in comparison to the more 'pro' stuff. I did point out that I think the Solo is rather nice.

Besides that, I don't buy-in to the whole AD/DA converter quality craze. I see people buying high-end converters, then running them into rather expensive monitors, and setup all that in a completely untreated room. Or, for the other side of the converters, get crazy expensive microphones and then record mediocre (at best) performances with it, or again, record in an untreated space. The perceived difference in converter quality is completely lost outside high-end professional studios.

Of course someone here is going to reply that you can hear the difference, but remember that brains are liars :puf_wink:

Now, for pre-amps, that is a different story :puf_bigsmile:
The converters really do make a difference though. It’s not a placebo. Particularly when it comes to mixing. Sure you’d ideally want a treated room as well but better converters translate to more detail in what you’re hearing. I once thought the same as well, but if you’ve ever heard higher end converters and switched to a low end one you’d definitely notice.. Aside from the experience i mentioned above with my own gear, I was once working at a studio and the Pro Tools HD system stopped working so we had to temporarily move to an M Audio interface for about a week. Drastic difference, and that was with the same monitors and preamps being used. Just the AD/DA was different. For mixing its like the equivalent of mixing with earbuds vs using studio headphones. Both can work but one gives a much better experience than the other since you can hear more detail.

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QVprod
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Post 17 Mar 2023

guitfnky wrote:
17 Mar 2023
quality interfaces are obviously super important, but you also have to kinda go out of your way to find one that’s not any good.

interfaces are one of the biggest “diminishing returns” pieces of gear involved in recording audio. if you can hear the difference, that’s great, but I guarantee your listeners can’t tell whether you’re using the cheapest Behringer interface or the most expensive RME. I think once you start paying more than the base Focusrite models, that’s where you’re really getting into the budget range where you’re starting to pay more to get less, in terms of improvement.

if you’ve got the money to spend and it’s worthwhile for you, go for it, but don’t think for a second it makes any noticeable difference to the listener. if you’re a good mixer, your mixes will sound good no matter what interface you use. if you’re a bad mixer…you know the rest.
I think it’s fair to note that the main purpose in a higher quality interface is for the person working with it. Not for the listener. For them, yeah almost anything you record with these days can record decent audio.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 17 Mar 2023

QVprod wrote:
17 Mar 2023
The converters really do make a difference though. It’s not a placebo.
I didn't say it is a placebo. Although, perception bias is a real thing. Ever heard about the not connected switch making people hear different things?
QVprod wrote:
17 Mar 2023
Particularly when it comes to mixing. Sure you’d ideally want a treated room as well but better converters translate to more detail in what you’re hearing.
... but what you are hearing remains debatable in an untreated room :puf_wink:
QVprod wrote:
17 Mar 2023
I once thought the same as well, but if you’ve ever heard higher end converters and switched to a low end one you’d definitely notice.
And how do you know the difference comes from the converters, and not from the other circuitry?

To be really honest here, I do indeed hear a minimal difference between my Scarlett 18i20 and the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R that I still have floating around here in my studio. The thing is, I couldn't say which one is better because the difference isn't in the better-or-worse region of differences. I also couldn't say that the difference comes from the converters, or from other circuitry. However, putting some serious acoustic treatment into my studio opened up the soundstage in a way that no converter (no matter how good or expensive) will ever do. So, I happily argue that my Scarlett 18i20 delivers a much better soundstage in my treated room, than some 3x more expensive audio interface in an untreated room.
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Post 17 Mar 2023

RME Fan Club Member since 2003.
757365206C6F67696320746F207365656B20616E73776572732075736520726561736F6E20746F2066696E6420776973646F6D20676574206F7574206F6620796F757220636F6D666F7274207A6F6E65206F7220796F757220696E737069726174696F6E2077696C6C206372797374616C6C697A6520666F7265766572

Goriila Texas
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Post 17 Mar 2023

I don't care what you think tbh and I'm not here to teach people like you anything that's why I didn't give you any links or books to read. I've been dealing with people like you for 30 years and learn to just let you believe what you want. No amount of logic or common sense will change your mind. See me being logical person would just assume gear with better components, better S/N ratio and overall craftsmanship would yield better sound. That's just common sense to me but not you. It irritates me to see people who are completely ignorant about a subject present themselves as experts. Anyone who's been doing music for as long as me can tell you're green every time you give your opinion.





crimsonwarlock wrote:
17 Mar 2023
Goriila Texas wrote:
17 Mar 2023
You right bro people who spend thousands of dollars on interfaces with good converters are stupid and don't know what they're doing.
Yep, that was NOT what I said.

I can put words into your mouth too: So you say people who don't spend thousands of dollars on converters are stupid?
Goriila Texas wrote:
17 Mar 2023
Just stick to the 18i20 I'm sure it's just as good the other interfaces 3x it's cost.


You certainly act as if you feel attacked about your choices. Now ask yourself why that is. Me, I don't care what you think about my choices. I just get the stuff I like. So, you cannot gaslight me into thinking I'm using inferior equipment because... well, you say so. Not going to happen :lol:

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 17 Mar 2023

Goriila Texas wrote:
17 Mar 2023
Anyone who's been doing music for as long as me...
Ah, you are old and wise :lol:
Goriila Texas wrote:
17 Mar 2023
... can tell you're green every time you give your opinion.
... and yet assume things about me, you know absolutely nothing about :clap:

Let's leave it at that.

Oh wait, green! :puf_bigsmile:
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bxbrkrz
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Post 17 Mar 2023

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757365206C6F67696320746F207365656B20616E73776572732075736520726561736F6E20746F2066696E6420776973646F6D20676574206F7574206F6620796F757220636F6D666F7274207A6F6E65206F7220796F757220696E737069726174696F6E2077696C6C206372797374616C6C697A6520666F7265766572

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guitfnky
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Post 17 Mar 2023

QVprod wrote:
17 Mar 2023
guitfnky wrote:
17 Mar 2023
quality interfaces are obviously super important, but you also have to kinda go out of your way to find one that’s not any good.

interfaces are one of the biggest “diminishing returns” pieces of gear involved in recording audio. if you can hear the difference, that’s great, but I guarantee your listeners can’t tell whether you’re using the cheapest Behringer interface or the most expensive RME. I think once you start paying more than the base Focusrite models, that’s where you’re really getting into the budget range where you’re starting to pay more to get less, in terms of improvement.

if you’ve got the money to spend and it’s worthwhile for you, go for it, but don’t think for a second it makes any noticeable difference to the listener. if you’re a good mixer, your mixes will sound good no matter what interface you use. if you’re a bad mixer…you know the rest.
I think it’s fair to note that the main purpose in a higher quality interface is for the person working with it. Not for the listener. For them, yeah almost anything you record with these days can record decent audio.
of course—why I think if it works for you (the producer), then great! we just shouldn’t kid ourselves thinking the listener cares, is all.

personally, I’d love to have an RME interface, but I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to justify spending the $2,500+ I’d need for the number of inputs I’d need. the Focusrite/MOTU stuff I have now does a damn fine job as it is, and cost me around $850. maybe one day, but I won’t lose sleep (or good mixes) if it never happens.
I write music for good people

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selig
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Post 17 Mar 2023

RobC wrote:
15 Mar 2023
Everything is set up.

Goldwave measured -69 dB noise peak.
That still beats analog tape (which some engineers still swear by), showing that noise is not the only spec that dictates quality audio. And these days folks use plugins to ADD noise, so go figure.
Both my Focusrite Clarett and Apollo interfaces don't make it much over -100 dB for peak noise levels, but I never much worried about that stuff having started on analog tape - so from my perspective, I already know how to deal with 50-60 dB signal to noise, so having almost double that seems like overkill! ;)
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QVprod
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Post 17 Mar 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
17 Mar 2023
QVprod wrote:
17 Mar 2023
The converters really do make a difference though. It’s not a placebo.
I didn't say it is a placebo. Although, perception bias is a real thing. Ever heard about the not connected switch making people hear different things?
QVprod wrote:
17 Mar 2023
Particularly when it comes to mixing. Sure you’d ideally want a treated room as well but better converters translate to more detail in what you’re hearing.
... but what you are hearing remains debatable in an untreated room :puf_wink:
QVprod wrote:
17 Mar 2023
I once thought the same as well, but if you’ve ever heard higher end converters and switched to a low end one you’d definitely notice.
And how do you know the difference comes from the converters, and not from the other circuitry?

To be really honest here, I do indeed hear a minimal difference between my Scarlett 18i20 and the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R that I still have floating around here in my studio. The thing is, I couldn't say which one is better because the difference isn't in the better-or-worse region of differences. I also couldn't say that the difference comes from the converters, or from other circuitry. However, putting some serious acoustic treatment into my studio opened up the soundstage in a way that no converter (no matter how good or expensive) will ever do. So, I happily argue that my Scarlett 18i20 delivers a much better soundstage in my treated room, than some 3x more expensive audio interface in an untreated room.
To keep this from getting out of hand. (That’s for everyone here.)

I’ll just say that all of this research has already been done. There’s really no sense in arguing when you can actually look up specifications and see differences.

Edit: again that’s not to say you can’t make good music with cheaper interfaces. Just that different quality of tools are an aid to the user.

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DaveyG
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Post 17 Mar 2023

I can guarantee that, for almost everyone, the tech spec of their audio interface is not the limiting factor of the quality of their output.

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miyaru
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Post 17 Mar 2023

I'm a happy Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd gen user.

I know I get burnt for this maybe, but what is the use for me to have the best interface there is in an untreated room, as I live in a normal house and not in a studio?
I don't have fancy Neumann Mics, but just a simple AT 3025 and a Rode NT1a...... I don't have ATC monitors either , but just Presonus Eris E8 monitors.......

It is NOT one good device in your studio, it is the complete chain. And for me music making is fun, not an expensive device competition.

So please stop it! Making music is about fun!!!!!
Greetings from Miyaru.
Prodaw i7-7700, 16Gb Ram, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd gen, ESI M4U eX, Reason12, Live Suit 10, Push2, Presonus Eris E8 and Monitor Station V2, Lexicon MPX1,
Korg N1, Yamaha RM1x :thumbup:

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guitfnky
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Post 17 Mar 2023

☝🏼☝🏼 they get it
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