Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen vs Tascam Celesonic US-20x20

I’ve decided I need a new interface. My old M-Audio Delta uses a PCI card (why the hell did they stop making these?), and I’m concerned about latency with a USB interface.

The Focusrite boasts faster thruput than other USB2 interfaces (though they don’t say how they accomplish this, so I’m skeptical -is it true?)

The Tascam has a similar feature set, same price, great reviews, and uses USB3. Wouldn’t you expect it to have way less latency than ANY USB2 interface? (For that matter, why does anyone even make USB2 interfaces anymore?)

Any thoughts?

No, USB3 won’t have lower latency, it will just be able to handle more channels, but USB2 can already handle way more than either of these interfaces, so being USB3 doesn’t provide any benefit at all.

Oh… Thank you for the clarification!

From the Focusrite website: *Super-low latency depends on your choice of software, settings and computer.

That’s true for any interface and their claims of 2.47 ms round trip latency would be for the smallest buffer settings available using their ASIO drivers. Their drivers maybe more efficient than other manufacturers and part of their claim.

Both units appear to have about the same number of I/O and both have optical ADAT/SMUX connections for additional I/O expansion. ADAT has limits on bandwidth, so the higher the sampling rate, the lower the number of channels that it is capable of simultaneously processing.

Hopefully, some members who use these interfaces can weigh in with their experiences.

Hey Kyle, I have four Scarlett interfaces…I keep one on my live rig, one at a rehearsal space, one for building MainStage patches in the studio, one for spare…I LOVE these things. Anything Scarlett has been great to use! The latency is low enough what when I play wedding gigs with a violinist, I can run her mic into the front of one of these and not need a mixer. The then EQ and reverb are handled by the macbook.

I’d be super surprised if you got a Scarlett and had any problems with latency :smiley:

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Okay, My Scarlett 18i20 arrived and I’m testing it out.

Sidebar: While waiting for it to arrive, I discovered that my problem with my old interface might not have anything to do with the interface itself. I have a failing hard drive. I’d already uninstalled the old interface. Now to decide, should I try the old interface and, if the hard drive has cured the problem, send the Focusrite back?

I decided to try out the Focusrite - even if the Delta 1010 works perfectly now, eventually I’ll need to upgrade as new computers don’t have PCI slots any more.

You’re right, so far latency doesn’t seem to be a problem, but I have a number of concerns:

Everytime I close Cubase, the Focusrite Control interface crashes.

When I finished recording a few tracks, I switched off phantom power. This sent a loud pop through my monitors, if though no input tracks were being monitored. Is this normal?

So I thought I’d try switching the whole unit off. When I did, Focusrite control suddenly showed all 8 input channels constantly clipping. Muting them or adjusting gain in Focusrite Control had no effect. Is this normal?

So I tried rebooting, and got a Blue Screen crash. After a hard reset, everything seems to work okay, but there’s a loud hiss coming through my monitors (though no signal activity shows in Focusrite Control). I played an MP3 (through Windows Media player) and the hiss instantly stopped and the MP3 played perfectly.

I’m now watching Focusrite’s “Getting Started” videos, maybe I’ll learn something I did wrong.

I’m now getting intermittent “stutters” during playback. I’ve mostly noticed them while watching Youtube Videos, and sometimes while playing MP3s. They’re very brief, just a split second drop-out or pop. Maddening. Is it the new interface, or the driver, or something else in the system?

It definitely shouldn’t be doing that. Does it fix it if your buffer is set higher? Whether its your computer, your interface or the combo of the two, don’t settle for an interface that drives you nuts. If it’s not working on your system, don’t bother with it. Send it back and get something else until you find one that works on your system.

It’s possible that your USB root hub is sharing an IRQ with other hardware devices and that is causing the stuttering.

Are you plugging your Foxusrite into an external USB expansion hub ? If so, try bypassing it.
Do you have a pcie USB expansion card (not using your motherboard USB ports) that you can test it with ?

I’m so sorry, I wrote a reply last week, but evidently neglected to hit “Post”

Thanks for this Boz. I always feel guilty about returning stuff, for some reason. I tried setting the buffer higher. It had no effect.

I uninstalled the Focusrite and reinstalled my Delta 1010 - so far it’s working perfectly. Too soon to be sure, of course, since I’ve had intermittent problems for awhile, but it could be the issue was the failing drive all along.

I sent the Scarlett back last Friday and will expect my refund soon (grateful that I purchased it through Amazon - they make returns easy!).

I’ve been hard at work since then catching up on some overdue editing, using my old twin-Delta 1010 interfaces. Not a single glitch, noise, dropout or crash since.

I’m embarrassed that I never suspected a failing hard drive. It’s just been so long since I’ve had one, and this one seemed to decay so slowly, intermittently…

Anyway, I think I’m good now (fingers crossed).

@JayGee, thanks for the input - I’ll keep that in mind if I ever try a USB interface again in the future.

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I have seen PCIE to PCI adapters/risers available for < $100 and if they work, that would allow you to continue using Delta 1010s well into the future.

Good to know, thanks!