Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 3rd Gen by PsyKology
I have just purchased a Gen 3 Scarlett 8i6 to replace an NI Komplete Audio 6 and have to say, I am very impressed with it.
I have been using the KA6 for about 5 years without issue and running it into a pair of Adam A3Xs. I have always enjoyed the sound and listen mainly to rock, or trance & techno through the system. Following a major PC upgrade including moving the OS to Windows 10, the KA6 has been nothing but problems. The audio drivers kept crashing or freezing, requiring the KA6 to be unplugged, or the drivers restarted. After 3 weeks of this, I gave up and started searching for a replacement.
I chose the 8i6 due to number of inputs and Focusrite's pedigree in the Pro PA field (I used to work in event production). Upon opening the box, I was initially struck by its looks, it is indeed a thing of beauty. I will concede the KA6 did feel a bit chunkier, but the Scarlet looks drop dead gorgeous.
Within 2 minutes of plugging it in and listening to some music, my girlfriend came in and commented on how much better everything sounded. I was just sat there with a silly grin. Compared to the KA6, it is considerably more open and detailed. Listening to dance music, the Scarlet really does let the music flow, but also keeps tight control of it. I find the sound both exciting and invigorating and the bottom end is rock solid and deep.
I honestly thought the KA6 was a bloody good interface and have always been very happy with it. Looking back, I am strangely happy that everything went pear shaped with the PC upgrade, otherwise I would still be listening to it now and missing out on the luscious sound I have now. It drives the Adams to obscene levels and I am impressed the the tight bass they are now producing.
For headphones, I am using a pair of Audio Technica ES700s. Admittedly these are more hi-fi than studio, but they are comfy and I like their sound. The Scarlett will drive them without issue to painfully loud levels while still remaining focussed and in control.
Anyway, if you are thinking about dropping the cash on one, at the very least go and have a listen. You wont regret it, but your credit card might.