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Steinberg UR44 or Scarlett 6i6 2nd gen or Scarlett 18i8 2nd gen Audio Interfaces
Old 22nd August 2016
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Steinberg UR44 or Scarlett 6i6 2nd gen or Scarlett 18i8 2nd gen

Hello everyone,

I am currently looking for a great audio interface for less than 300$ or so and I found three of them which would fit my needs (UR44, Scarlett 6i6 2nd gen, Scarlett 18i8 2nd gen). I already have a Presonus Bluetube that could allow me to add 2 more mic inputs on these interfaces.

The problem is that I really like the UR44 from Steinberg from a I/O point of view with 4 mic inputs and Hi-Z for a guitar on the first one (also the DAC & the ADC seem really good - AK5359 adc, WM8728 dac) but since Focusrite launched the 2nd generation of the Scarlett line I am confused, as these new audio interfaces seem to have very good specs with low noise on preamps and higher headrooms than the UR44 (considering these two documents : UR44, 6i6 & 18i8 (same values for these two).

So my question is, has anyone tried these interfaces and how is the difference in sound, because after all, this is the most important thing. And is the new Scarlett range really that better?

Thank's.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #2
Gear Head
 

ive owned like 5 or 6 cheap audio interfaces. last one being a m-audio m-track II. it was some serious garbage. the outputs on the back had no power. the preamps were noisy. couldnt power a sm57 without a ton of hissing. hilariously enough it wasi nspected even by their quality control i bought a refurbished one. reviews on amazon talk about all these issues.

i looked at Steinberg UR44 as a possible replacement. yet again reviews say that one too has noisy preamps.

all the Scarlett series especially 2nd gen get raving good reviews for having clean preamps. bought the Scarlett solo 2nd gen like a week ago. i can confirm its the best you can get for 100 bucks. plenty of power. although i dont have a dynamic at the moment to test everything else checks out great.

when you think "Steinberg" think noisy piece of crap trash.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takaka View Post

when you think "Steinberg" think noisy piece of crap trash.
The UR44 has the Yamaha D-Pres, the same on the n12 mixer that came out in like 2007, which I have. These pre's are not noisy. I would not believe anything I read on Amazon reviews. Do some searches here at GS and you will find quite a bit of info and the famous VERY long n12 thread.

Have you actually listened to any of the Steinberg interfaces?
Old 22nd August 2016
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by takaka View Post
yet again reviews say that one too has noisy preamps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundrage View Post
The UR44 has the Yamaha D-Pres, the same on the n12 mixer that came out in like 2007, which I have. These pre's are not noisy.
That's odd, because as soundrage says the preamps are quite renowned and the only reviews I saw that were saying that the UR44 had noise issues was for defective units only, others say that they are very clear.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #5
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MickeyMassacre's Avatar
If the IO count is fine for you, I would go for the ur44. I have one as my portable interface for when I am not at the studio (pro tools hd2 etc). I love it. I find the preamps more than usable, and not noisy until you crank them, which I have never had to do due to the 75dB or so gain that they have. Plus side is the 2 extra line-ins that I can use with external high end pres when needed. The conversion to my ears is exceptional as well. Over-all good bang for the buck.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyMassacre View Post
If the IO count is fine for you, I would go for the ur44. I have one as my portable interface for when I am not at the studio (pro tools hd2 etc). I love it. I find the preamps more than usable, and not noisy until you crank them, which I have never had to do due to the 75dB or so gain that they have. Plus side is the 2 extra line-ins that I can use with external high end pres when needed. The conversion to my ears is exceptional as well. Over-all good bang for the buck.
i guess i was wrong. Steinberg UR12 USB looks like it could be nice ill have to look into it again. i saw a few noisy preamp reviews about the Steinberg UR22 and stopped looking at them.

does anyone know which is better? focusrite or steinberg preamps???

this is the review that got me to disqualify steinberg:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-r...SIN=B00QY4RLRQ

Quote:
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Steinberg UR12 USB Audio Interface (Electronics)
My main problem with this audio interface is that its preamps are kind of noisy. I compared Steinberg UR12 to my other two interfaces - Roland Tri-Capture and Avid Fast Track Solo - and UR12's preamps were the worst in terms of added noise/hiss (the preamps in all interfaces were set to the same gain during testing). In addition, Steinberg UR12 only provides 44 dB of gain, which is not enough for low output dynamic microphones like Shure SM57 and AKG D5, unless you literally scream into the microphone. Steinberg's support also leaves a lot to be desired.

On the positive side, this interface is very well built and does not cost an arm and a leg. It also comes with Cubase AI, which is a pretty good DAW.

Overall, Steinberg UR12 is a decent enough audio interface, but there are much better choices out there around the $100-150 mark.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
przemak's Avatar
Scarlett 2nd gen can work with 16 sample buffer at ANY sampling rate, including 192k (I know that this is absurd )
IMO in this price drivers and latency are two most important features, not "sound", no matter how we define it. At 44,1 and 16 sample buffer IN/OUT latency is less than 4ms. For monitoring thru soft (amp sim for example) this is the winner. Of course, powerful machine is needed, but we all have too fast computers nowadays.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyMassacre View Post
If the IO count is fine for you, I would go for the ur44. I have one as my portable interface for when I am not at the studio (pro tools hd2 etc). I love it. I find the preamps more than usable, and not noisy until you crank them, which I have never had to do due to the 75dB or so gain that they have. Plus side is the 2 extra line-ins that I can use with external high end pres when needed. The conversion to my ears is exceptional as well. Over-all good bang for the buck.

yeah I had narrowed it down to the UR44 and the 18i8 and picked the 44 because I wanted the extra analog outputs. But the 18i8 has SPDIF and ADAT, which is a consideration for some.

Regarding preamps most of these units these days have OK pre's. I will say this....after I built a CAPI 312 and compared it to the Yamaha D-Pre the D seemed kind of sterile, but not in a bad way. I really like them on acoustic instruments but prefer the 312 on Vox. The D-Pre's are very clean which I think is good overall. You want character, buy or build some API or Neve clones. I love those iron preamps.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyMassacre View Post
If the IO count is fine for you, I would go for the ur44. I have one as my portable interface for when I am not at the studio (pro tools hd2 etc). I love it. I find the preamps more than usable, and not noisy until you crank them, which I have never had to do due to the 75dB or so gain that they have. Plus side is the 2 extra line-ins that I can use with external high end pres when needed. The conversion to my ears is exceptional as well. Over-all good bang for the buck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundrage View Post
Regarding preamps most of these units these days have OK pre's. I will say this....after I built a CAPI 312 and compared it to the Yamaha D-Pre the D seemed kind of sterile, but not in a bad way. I really like them on acoustic instruments but prefer the 312 on Vox. The D-Pre's are very clean which I think is good overall. You want character, buy or build some API or Neve clones. I love those iron preamps.
Thank's guys for sharing this. Now, I saw that the UR44 was lacking of some pads on mic inputs, is it of any inconvenience? With keyboards or synths for example?
Concerning the S/PDIF input, I never understood what you can do with it.

Soundrage, this diy vintage preamp clone seems like a really good move, I might take a look at it in the future to warm things up when it needs to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by przemak View Post
IMO in this price drivers and latency are two most important features, not "sound", no matter how we define it.
Yeah I guess you have a point here. And since the UR44 is quite older (3 years) I am wondering if it is of any good to buy one of them now, (Because of the drivers' support) while the Scarlett2 18i8 is only 3 months old.

Anyone knows if Focusrite has changed their ADC/DAC chips with the new Scarlett line? I know that they previously used the CS4272 on the 6i6, don't know about the 18i8.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
przemak's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweet sweats View Post
Anyone knows if Focusrite has changed their ADC/DAC chips with the new Scarlett line? I know that they previously used the CS4272 on the 6i6, don't know about the 18i8.
No, ADC chips are the same, at least in what we have, the smallest one - CS4272. They redesigned broken instrument input, gain knob has better scaling (but ic's are the same, NJM2122), and there is completely new chip for USB - but IMO latency is the most important thing here. My polish test (with pictures ) here, I hope I can post it here:
Focusrite Scarlett Solo vs nowy Scarlett Solo 2. generacji v2 – test i porównanie interfejsów audio na USB dla gitarzystów i wokalistów - E-MUZYK.pl
Old 22nd August 2016
  #11
Gear Head
 

I JUST WANNA KNOW IF THE FOCUSRITE SECOND GEN HAS MORE OR LESS CLEAN GAIN THAN THE UR12

Quote:
75dB or so gain
that made my jaw drop
Old 2nd October 2018
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Hi, am also torn between these two. But what I really want clearly compared are the sound output quality. Which is better in terms of sound..
Plus, I do not like sound that is overly digital
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