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Old 11-18-2012, 12:45 AM   #1
Outside Octaves
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Need advice: Saffire 6 or Scarlet 2i2?

Ok, I don't have a supper HUGE budget, and all I'm really looking at these for is home practice. I like to use LePou's plugins with reaper and some of Guitar Rig's stuff.

I recently lost the pot in my guitar port, meaning I need to replace it.


Is the $50 jump (approx.) worth it if all I'm doing is using it to get my signal into the pc and back out to my monitors? No pro. recording or anything. I just want a transparent and faithful reproduction of my guitar's sound... or as close to that as I can get for budget.

The sticky helped me out in pointing me in the right direction (the one about DI boxes n such).

But now I'm wondering, are the two boxes listed in the title the same exact thing as far as signal processing goes, preamps, etc., only one has more control options that the other. Or is there a real and quite noticeable difference between the two as far as the preamps, and signal processing quality goes?


TL;DR:

Is there any real difference between the saffire 6 and the Scarlet 2i2 besides price and control? Quality?
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:08 AM   #2
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Yes, the 2i2 doesn't have a Pad which can make it difficult to record direct guitars & I've heard of driver issues.

Check here on eBay. Its B-Stock which means that it may have a few scratches but if you don't mind that, you'll save $70. Also, if its anything like the Saffire Pro 40 I bought from them, its new in box.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:51 AM   #3
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What in particular does lacking the pad do in making it lack luster and makes it hard to record direct guitars?

Myself, I'll have it on 1 setting and leave it there once I find it. I don't need to change settings frequently.... well on the interface that is. I do all my adjustments, amp changes, etc. on the pc side.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:42 AM   #4
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The pad essentially lowers the signal level so you don't clip the input on the preamp. No pad means that you have to lower the volume on the guitar itself, which will affect your tone. Although I would be looking at the Scarlett 2i4 instead of the Saffire 6 as the Saffire is being phased out at the moment, and being replaced by the Scarlett.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:51 AM   #5
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Huh? Where's this coming from, as far as the phasing out of the saffire 6?

Not to mention that, you don't have to turn down the guitar... just turn down the gain on the preamp?
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by http://us.focusrite.com/scarlett-2i4
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 is a 2 in / 4 out USB recording interface. It has two award-winning Focusrite pre-amps that deliver superb quality recordings from your microphones or instruments. The case is anodised aluminium ensuring that 2i4 doesn't just sound great, but is tough and resilient enough to use as a portable recording interface. It replaces the best-selling Saffire 6 USB audio interface.

That's from the Focusrite website.

As for turning down the gain, it is my understanding (I did much research when I considered buying it before deciding to save for the 2i4) that you have to turn the gain to practically nothing, and even then you will still clip if you strum particularly strongly.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chatterbox272
Although I would be looking at the Scarlett 2i4 instead of the Saffire 6 as the Saffire is being phased out at the moment, and being replaced by the Scarlett.


Id still go for a Saffire 6. They're the same pres and processors in both, just a difference box. It's like buying a 2011 car versus a 2012 car. There's not much difference, just ones newer and has a higher price tag
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:26 AM   #8
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Yes, but they do have different drivers (or at least afaik they do) and they will eventually stop updating the Saffire ones to suit newer computers, whereas the Scarlett will have longer driver support because it's newer. Also, my local music store was selling the Scarlett 2i4 and the Saffire 6 at the same price until they sold the last of the Saffires (they removed them from the online store too so I think they aren't selling them anymore). And if the price is the same I would buy a 2012 over a 2011 just because it's newer.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:08 AM   #9
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But the difference is you can get the Saffires new for $130 on eBay (See the link I posted above).

As for drivers, Focusrite has Windows 8 drivers for the Saffire 6 which is the newest OS to hit the market and it already works with OSX 10.8. Considering the Saffire 6 has been one of the best interfaces under $250 (if not the best) and Focusrite's flagship budget interface for years, I couldn't see them not supporting it for at least the next 2 or 3 years (which after 2 or 3 years, most people have either upgraded interfaces to something of much higher quality or stopped recording & moved on with life). They may be phasing them out but I doubt they're going to stop supporting them right away. Hell, they're still supporting the Saffire Pro 14, 24 & 24 Pro which all have replacements in the Scarlett series (the 8i6 & 18i6 respectively). To go even further back, the original Focusrite Saffire interface was supported from its release in 2006 through June of 2011 when it got its final update. A lot happens in 5 years.

Honestly, either way he can't go wrong. I just don't see the Saffire 6 as something Focusrite is going to drop in the near future.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:59 PM   #10
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yea, honestly it looks like I'm going with the scarlett 2i4... it's the closest to my revamped budget for this holiday shopping season, and as chatterbox suggests it's newer and thus has a longer update life ahead of it... and I can't go wrong with either one. So I might as well go for the newest one. My only quibble with it is the switch it uses. I've had experience with those in the past. Buttons are always going to last longer than a switch these days (not the case with older equipment out of the 70's and 80's but i digress).

Though I just don't trust eBay. I've had some family members get screwed by people and businesses that operate out of that site. They eventually got their money back or their items... but it was a nightmare having to deal with everything heh. So I just don't trust ebay retailers.



BTW, How are the pots on the newer Focusrite equipment like the scarlett series?


edit:

Thanks for the advice though.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chatterbox272
That's from the Focusrite website.

As for turning down the gain, it is my understanding (I did much research when I considered buying it before deciding to save for the 2i4) that you have to turn the gain to practically nothing, and even then you will still clip if you strum particularly strongly.


yes this is correct. i have a saffire 6 and i do almost all direct guitars all the time through pod farm. i basically need the pad on all the time and lowering the input gain instead of switching on a pad just simply doesn't sound as good
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:22 PM   #12
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Definitely recommend the Scarlett. Excellent interface.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:01 PM   #13
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Yeah the pad is a must... with both active and passive guitars I pretty much stick the pad on and turn the input gain to almost nothing.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:03 PM   #14
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I have the Scarlett 2i2 (the recordings on my profile are old and were NOT done with it) and I can attest that if you line a guitar directly in, and have it switched to the "instrument" mode, it will clip and have too much gain, no matter what setting you put the gain on.

But, if you switch it to the line mode it solves this problem. As far as I can tell, it doesn't affect (effect?) the audio quality in any negative way by doing this, and thus no pad is needed. I could post you a sound sample from my bedroom project, but I am not very good at mixing.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:20 PM   #15
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Ah, received my 2i4 today and just got done setting it up and playing around with it.

All I have to say is... WOW....

Even without pad, on INST mode it's not clipping... not when the gain is turned just around 11 o'clock. Though the pad helps immensely!

Thanks for the advice. I've never had such low latency or extreme transparency before! WOW.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpSpoon
I have the Scarlett 2i2 (the recordings on my profile are old and were NOT done with it) and I can attest that if you line a guitar directly in, and have it switched to the "instrument" mode, it will clip and have too much gain, no matter what setting you put the gain on.

But, if you switch it to the line mode it solves this problem. As far as I can tell, it doesn't affect (effect?) the audio quality in any negative way by doing this, and thus no pad is needed. I could post you a sound sample from my bedroom project, but I am not very good at mixing.


I would like to know the difference between pad and line as well? Also is there a good in-depth review of the functionalities of the scarlett 2i2 and 2i4 somewhere?
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:37 PM   #17
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A line-in is an input type and the pad is a button that lowers gain, but it does it by attenuation and not by volume decreasing.

They're like completely different things.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:35 PM   #18
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Im interested in the differences between 2i2 and 2i4 apart from the number of outputs.

Also where would the Presonus Audiobox USB sit in there?
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:33 AM   #19
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I checked the specs of those Focusrite interfaces and those provide clipping 'cause It has a high gain range, +10 to 55db(the minimal is already +10!). The pad thing reduces the gain range by -10db, the big question is how it does so??? I suppose it is a limiter which is not desirable. Limiters give you erratic dynamics.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:45 AM   #20
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It's an input attenuator. Not a limiter.
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