[LAU] Affordable well-working USB interface with low latency at 48kHz?

David Kastrup dak at gnu.org
Mon Nov 23 02:03:00 CET 2020

"Jeanette C." <julien at mail.upb.de> writes:

> Nov 22 2020, David Kastrup has written:
> ...
>> So I am lacking a reasonably solid recommendation of (possibly older but
>> reasonably quality) hardware with 1 or 2 mic inputs and +48V phantom
>> power and likely USB2.0 HiSpeed class compliant, possibly 2 headphone
>> outputs
> ...
> Is it worth investigating the Focusrite Scarlett interfaces? I have read
> here - a few weeks ago - that the 3rd generation is now supported on
> Linux. But the 2nd generation is still listed in some stores. The
> Scarlett 2i2 with two mic preamps +48V phantom power costs about 139EUR,
> the solo - with just one mic preamp - is less than 100 EUR . I think
> these smaller Scarletts used to be a favourite with RaspberryPis, as
> well.
> I don't know the latency, but many people speak very favourably about
> them.

This is basically a no-budget hunt (I don't have the means to make
excessive presents), so store-bought is essentially out.  I think one
guy has already gotten a Behringer interface new (I'd not be overly
surprised if it's some laptop-like USB1.1 chip of the "don't expect more
than 15kHz" kind with some somewhat more tolerable preamp, which would
not be the first time I've seen gear from Behringer where the outside
was more impressive than the inside) and there are more dropout problems
than previously (with my old Tascam soundcard) even though it's on its
own USB connector (hopefully on its own controller/port but I don't know
the laptop in person).

I'd not want to suggest anything for which I've not had good experiences
myself, and the budget would likely be at most around what the Behringer
cost new.  So realistically, it's definitely going to focus around
something preowned, and likely no longer in current production.

The budget situation would likely not be all that much different even if
I had plenty to spare: "oh, I'll gift you all with interfaces if we go
ahead" is not going to cut it.  It has to feel like something everyone
is willing to go through with, and selling the effort is going to be
hard enough without also having to admit that the cost will become

I think you are right that Focusrite had a reasonable reputation for
their preamps.  I'll take a look at what the first generation was about.

David Kastrup

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