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Is a Focusrite Scarlett Solo & 2i2 (both 3rd gen) ADC/DAC stage identical?

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#1
Heyo, I'm looking to get a basic interface for my guitar and microphone, the Solo is cheaper and has perfect inputs for my use case. I see the 2i2 measurements here, would the measurements be exactly the same for the Solo, and only inputs/available # of XLR inputs is different (plus separate volume monitoring)? The given specs on Scarlett's website are 100% equivalent for both products.
 
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#3
And this is the 2i2 3rd gen.

EDIT: Actually, the Solo measures somewhat better for preamp noise, but the AD/DA is the same.
 

AnalogSteph

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#4
The difference in preamp noise could be down to plain component variation though.

Do note that the Solo does not sport a headphone volume knob while the 2i2 does, indicating that it may be a fixed-level DAC output with a mediocre output noise level. Neither model makes a great headphone driver, you probably want some sensitive mid-highish impedance cans around 100-300 ohms (OK, maybe let's throw a 470 ohm ATH-R70x in there as well, and I imagine a 64 ohm HD280Pro or 70 ohm HD25-1 II would also be OK).
 
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#5
I have had the Solo 3rd gen. myself, and can confirm that you change volume on the headphones using the main volume if you have a pair connected.
 
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companyja
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Thread Starter #7
Thanks for the replies, mates.

The difference in preamp noise could be down to plain component variation though.

Do note that the Solo does not sport a headphone volume knob while the 2i2 does, indicating that it may be a fixed-level DAC output with a mediocre output noise level. Neither model makes a great headphone driver, you probably want some sensitive mid-highish impedance cans around 100-300 ohms (OK, maybe let's throw a 470 ohm ATH-R70x in there as well, and I imagine a 64 ohm HD280Pro or 70 ohm HD25-1 II would also be OK).
The good thing is that the headphone out is literally the only part of the device I won't use. I may use it once or twice for direct monitoring in which case I don't need 800% fidelity if I'm just testing the levels or whatever, I have an E30+L30 stack on the way which will be handling the DAC/amp duties. I will be using the XLR for a microphone and the 6.3mm TRS for a guitar. The Solo offers both these inputs natively to me while the 2i2 has two XLRs, and it's quite a bit more expensive. I'm probably going to go for the Solo as it seems they're using near-identical core internals but offer a different feature-set.
 

daftcombo

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#8
I have a Solo 3rd Gen and a 2i4 2nd Gen.
No difference in the DAC section to my ears. Both great.
The ADC of the 2i4 is good enough for vinyl transferts.
 
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#9
I wish someone should send a Clarett to test. I wonder if it is any better.
It has the same type of issues with the headphone side of it, but does very well otherwise. Until we have a test here, you can see a test of it on Julian's Youtube channel.
 

AnalogSteph

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#10
I have a Solo 3rd Gen and a 2i4 2nd Gen.
No difference in the DAC section to my ears. Both great.
The ADC of the 2i4 is good enough for vinyl transferts.
No surprises. The first-gen 2i4 was based on a CS4272 codec plus an extra stereo DAC (AK4384, interestingly), so I assume the gen2 will be similar. The Solo gen3 uses a CS4272 as well (like the 2i2). Gen3 is the first to really let the codec flex its muscles, well the ADC side at least, though DAC dynamic range is up slightly as well.

The CS4272 ADC part is pretty much a CS5361. Digital filter specs suggest the following:
A sample rate of 48 kHz is needed to hit 20 kHz of aliasing-free bandwidth, so I'd recommend that at the minimum.
96 kHz may be slightly better-behaved than 192 in some cases - stopband extends to 3fs = 288 kHz vs. 1.34fs = 257 kHz, plus -0.01 dB point is at .43fs = 41.3 kHz vs. .105fs = 20.2 kHz.
Best-case aliasing-free bandwidth for this chip is ~42.2 kHz at 192 kHz. So you might record in 192 kHz and resample to get a solid 96 kHz recording out of it. 96 kHz is good to ~30.7 kHz.
 
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