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Author Topic: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?  (Read 13800 times)

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Offline Hypnocracy

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Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« on: October 16, 2010, 05:08:09 PM »
Anyone had their hands on one of these? I know Chris Church thinks highly of Focusrite Mic Preamps...It is bus powered...

I skipped the whole Edirol UA-5 invasion...not sure about Standalone...is that something that would require a modification?

2 High-Quality Award-winning Focusrite Preamps
Ultrareliable and easy to set up
High-Quality 24-bit USB Interface
Ready for DJs
4 Outputs on RCA Phono, high-level headphone output and class-leading digital converter performance
Xcite+ Software Bundle features a host of royalty-free loops and samples
Focusrite VST/AU Plug-in Suite, for use in the mix
Dedicated switchable front-panel headphone bus
Dedicated input/playback mix dial &
Powered via USB, with not need for an additional power supply.
Two Hi Z instrument inputs
Main Monitor Dial provides immediate control over the main stereo outputs.
Switchable Phantom power

For $200 it is a nice looking full featured Two Channel pre if you drag along a Laptop.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 05:12:44 PM by Hypnocracy »
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kirk97132

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2010, 05:18:29 PM »
Do you really want to take a laptop along just to power your preamp?  For $200 you could get a modded UA-5 (there are a couple in the YS right now) most likely would come with DVD batteries to power it AND give you a spdif/Toslink out put in addition to analog outputs.  The modded UA-5's also can be used as a USB input for a laptop if that is something you wanted. 

Offline Hypnocracy

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2010, 05:52:09 PM »
Well...no that's why I asked about Stand alone operation...I have Takkeon Battery that supplies USB power...while I see no other digi out than the USB...might be a sweet  Microphone Pre only if it would run standalone...

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kirk97132

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2010, 04:53:39 PM »
Can't say I've ever heard of anyone running the Focusrite as a field preamp so based on that I'd guess the answer is it will not run without a computer interface.  Stock UA-5 will not run as a standalone but the modded ones do. The digi mod you see mentioned is the way to make it standalone or one of the units modded by Oade or Busman which upgrades the sound quality too. 
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 04:56:29 PM by kirkd »

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2010, 05:48:12 PM »
Can't say I've ever heard of anyone running the Focusrite as a field preamp so based on that I'd guess the answer is it will not run without a computer interface.  Stock UA-5 will not run as a standalone but the modded ones do. The digi mod you see mentioned is the way to make it standalone or one of the units modded by Oade or Busman which upgrades the sound quality too.
(digimod) Edirol UA5 won't quite run standalone.

It will convert go:
   mics > ADC > digital (spdif, coax or optical)
   mics > ADC > DAC > analog (line out)

So, you can get analog, but you get an extra ADC/DAC stage in there.  It would work in a pinch (eg., for a patch or backup rig), but not really recommended.

There are lots of other boxes that *will* work as a (standalone) pre, though.  Presonus firewire boxes do.  I'm guessing their USB boxes do too, but I've not confirmed this.

If anyone gets the Focusrite, I'd love to see the *guts*.  In particular, I always want to know what power supply voltages the opamps work at.  Most common is something like +-5V (10V total), but some really low end ones (Tascam US-122) run at +5V only.  Professional grade gear should run with +/-12V or +/-15V.  Note that even a lowly Behringer mixer runs at +/-15V.   They all run the same cheap opamps (eg., NJM 4158 or NJM 2068), but running at higher voltages is better.

  Richard


« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 05:49:50 PM by illconditioned »
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Offline 12milluz

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2010, 12:08:14 AM »
It MIGHT work standalone on USB power. I have a Presonus Audiobox USB interace that will work as a preamp when using just USB power from a battery. I just don't use it because its main outputs are a mono mix. But its definitely possible with some interfaces out of the box.
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Offline Hypnocracy

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2010, 01:58:10 PM »
Quote
Thanks for your mail. The 6 USB will not work in Stand Alone mode, however, we have other products that will. You can check out our product comparison list here.

http://www.focusrite.com/tools/saffire_compare

Best regards,

Dan Hargadon

Focusrite / Novation Support
American Music & Sound

Looks like the Saffire 14 & 24 will run Standalone...96Hz and SPDIF outs too these are in the $300 range...

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Offline OOK

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2010, 05:17:29 PM »
Quote
Thanks for your mail. The 6 USB will not work in Stand Alone mode, however, we have other products that will. You can check out our product comparison list here.

http://www.focusrite.com/tools/saffire_compare

Best regards,

Dan Hargadon

Focusrite / Novation Support
American Music & Sound

Looks like the Saffire 14 & 24 will run Standalone...96Hz and SPDIF outs too these are in the $300 range...


I wonder how they sound?               OOK
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Offline Hypnocracy

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2010, 05:46:10 PM »
OOk...as soon as I upgrade Microphones I hope to find out
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kirk97132

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2010, 07:28:31 PM »
Not that this means anything at, but knowing how we are as tapers and always trying new different things out, the fact that there are no shows which list the unit as a standalone pre, and the few that have a fosucrite listed are used with a computer, it gives you a thumbnail sketch of how good the unit might sound.  So, Based on that willy nilly, theory, it might not stack up well.  But in the $300 price range you don't have many options new, so it could be you've found an overlooked item.    But it could be that for the money ($300) you would get more bang for the buck spending it on having your deck modded?  At the $300 price point the biggest competator would be a used modded UA-5 or a big/little box pre.  ONly the UA-5 having digi out.

Offline OOK

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2010, 08:23:12 PM »
I think the little box and church audio stuff has taught us tapers one thing is that it doesn't have to be expensive to sound good.... So who knows these might be worth a listen......

OOK
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 01:49:43 PM by OtheroneK »
DPA/HEB 4060's > R09HR
MBHO648/KA100Lk/KA200/KA300/KA500 > SD702

Offline Hypnocracy

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2010, 08:52:22 PM »
Sound Samples of SM57 and Rode NT1Z on Acoustic Guitar found at reply 24 on Gearslutz

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/537409-focusrite-saffire-pro-24-reviews-opinions-advice.html
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Offline SmokinJoe

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2010, 12:33:13 PM »
One thing about the UA-5 is there are switches on the front to set the bitrate (44.1/48/96).  If the box doesn't have a switch (and Saffire 14 doesn't look like it does), I would presume you would need a computer to change that setting?  Maybe you can set a bitrate at home by firewire and it will hold it until you change it again, even when power is removed.  If it always powers up defaulting to 16/44 (min) or 24/96 (max) then I would consider that less than optimal.

Also, it's labeled 12V DC.  It would be more convenient if it will actually run on a 9V DVD battery (and it might).
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Offline taperj

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2010, 01:03:29 AM »
One thing about the UA-5 is there are switches on the front to set the bitrate (44.1/48/96).  If the box doesn't have a switch (and Saffire 14 doesn't look like it does), I would presume you would need a computer to change that setting?  Maybe you can set a bitrate at home by firewire and it will hold it until you change it again, even when power is removed.  If it always powers up defaulting to 16/44 (min) or 24/96 (max) then I would consider that less than optimal.

Also, it's labeled 12V DC.  It would be more convenient if it will actually run on a 9V DVD battery (and it might).

I've owned a Focusrite Saffire Pro 26 I/O rack unit for a few years now, currently it's serving as my sound card. SmokinJoe brings up a very good point on the bitrate needing to be changed from a PC, I cannot turn on or off phantom power to the inputs on my Saffire 26 IO w/o connecting to a pc and toggling it with software. I would make sure that every feature you need will either be accessable during standalone operation or that they are settable with consistent results before you leave for the show. As far as Focusrite pre's,  I've recorded acoustic guitar on them many times and have dragged it out to a few shows as well. It's preformed well overall and I would characterize the pres as stiff and accurate with a bit of a dry sound. I'm not sure how the 26 IO pre's would stack up to this unit(they may actually be the same, I haven't done the research). If you do end up getting the gear, leave us a review after some nights out with it! I'd be interested to know how it performs.

Cheers,
J
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Offline tcf

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface?
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2010, 12:17:28 AM »
I'll bring this to the top. I used the saffire pro 14 in standalone mode at a blues bar with a set of nevatons and it sounds great.  It's a very easy unit to run.

 

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