Any recommendations for a new (budget) USB audio interface (+ USB filter?) and a pair of monitors

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bgravato
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Re: Any recommendations for a new (budget) USB audio interface (+ USB filter?) and a pair of monitors

Post by bgravato » Sun May 16, 2021 1:40 am

The Presonus Audiobox has 48V phantom power (and I need it for my condenser mic), the noise frequencies change a bit when I turn the phantom power on/off, but it's still there.

Paul2
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Re: Any recommendations for a new (budget) USB audio interface (+ USB filter?) and a pair of monitors

Post by Paul2 » Sun May 16, 2021 11:10 am

bgravato wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:00 am
I've thought about connecting the USB ground to the "earth" ground, to see if it makes any difference, but I haven't tried that yet..
I just measured the resistance between mains earth of the PSU and the shield of a USB port and the common of the line out on one
of my full sized ATX computers, 0 ohms.
bgravato wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:00 am
I want to use the audio interface with the NUC (daily for listening to music while I work). I can use a different PC/laptop for the rare occasions when I need to record something from the mic....
That simplifies things quite a bit.
Does your NUC have bluetooth?

If so, use that as your default audio out, then get the Presonus E4.5.
Not only will you get a bit more low frequency response compared to the E3, but they also have the E4.5 with bluetooth, the E45BT.
It will then also save you on one less cable on your desk. :D
https://www.presonus.com/products/Eris-E45-BT

You could then use another (quieter) setup for your occasional recordings.
bgravato wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:00 am
You mentioned the Focusrite Scarlett... do you think it could have better filtering on the USB connection than the Presonus Audiobox or the Behringer UMC202HD?
My choice from best to worst would have to be:
Focusrite
Presonus
Behringer

I don't have specific data on the filtering of either, but I have heard the Focusrite and the Presonus, the Focusrite sounds better to me.
Never been a fan of Behringer.
I have access to a Focusrite, so will record a few seconds of silence do a spectrum analysis and post the results here.
I know someone with a Presonus, will ask them for a few seconds of silence as well.
bgravato wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:00 am
Genelec studio monitors are out of my budget...
Mine too, but was lucky, picked up a second hand pair of 1029A's at a very good price, from a studio that was revamping their kit.
I find their response very neutral with no crazy peaks.
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 1.27.56 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 1.27.56 PM.png (107.35 KiB) Viewed 256 times

Paul2
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Re: Any recommendations for a new (budget) USB audio interface (+ USB filter?) and a pair of monitors

Post by Paul2 » Sun May 16, 2021 11:31 am

kozikowski wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:36 am
There is a fuzzy rule of thumb here. In general if your interface has this button

Then it has some USB power filtering.
Well, they could still (and probably do) cheat with the filtering.
Consider this scenario...
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 1.50.17 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 1.50.17 PM.png (36.46 KiB) Viewed 255 times
Simplified block diagram of the average USB audio interface (only input path shown).
The 48V DC generator will most definitely have some kind of filtering, however, they could easily skimp on the
filtering of the DC to supply the actual USB chip.

Ideally, it should be as follows:
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 1.56.53 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 1.56.53 PM.png (38.06 KiB) Viewed 255 times
The better ones probably include a bifilar choke so that even the 0V/GND will also be filtered to a certain extent.

bgravato
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Re: Any recommendations for a new (budget) USB audio interface (+ USB filter?) and a pair of monitors

Post by bgravato » Sun May 16, 2021 11:56 pm

Paul2 wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 11:10 am
Does your NUC have bluetooth?

If so, use that as your default audio out, then get the Presonus E4.5.
Not only will you get a bit more low frequency response compared to the E3, but they also have the E4.5 with bluetooth, the E45BT.
Yes the NUC has bluetooth.

I once had a (cheap) bluetooth speaker, but my experience with it was so bad that I didn't consider another bluetooth audio device as a possibility...

The E3.5 also has a BT version now. The E4.5 are a bit too big. So I think I'd rather go with the E3.5 BT.

Bluetooth, means D/A conversion is made inside the Presonus... I have some doubts how good that DAC might be... considering the BT version costs like 20 euros more...

Paul2
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Re: Any recommendations for a new (budget) USB audio interface (+ USB filter?) and a pair of monitors

Post by Paul2 » Mon May 17, 2021 6:58 am

Have to agree, BT can be a bit of a hit or miss affair.
Do you not have a retailer or music store near you that stocks them?

Make a few 320KB/s (CBR) MP3's of songs that you know well, transfer them onto a small thumb drive and ask them to demo the E35BT
to you using your music.

Done that before, most are very accommodating.

bgravato
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Re: Any recommendations for a new (budget) USB audio interface (+ USB filter?) and a pair of monitors

Post by bgravato » Mon May 17, 2021 11:07 am

Paul2 wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 6:58 am
Do you not have a retailer or music store near you that stocks them?
Unfortunately no, I'll have to order online, but I've been searching and I saw good reviews on the BT version of the Presonus.

Paul2
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Re: Any recommendations for a new (budget) USB audio interface (+ USB filter?) and a pair of monitors

Post by Paul2 » Mon May 17, 2021 12:16 pm

I don't have the BT models, so cannot confirm.
However, don't believe that Presonus would compromise their well known (as respected) brand by trying to save a buck or two on inferior BT modules.

I know there are plenty of diabolical creations like 2.0 BT sound bars and portable BT speakers that are sold to unsuspecting people.
Those sound absolutely horrid, but even there, it's probably all the downstream crud they use rather than the BT module itself which is 100% digital right up to the analog line outs.

bgravato
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Re: Any recommendations for a new (budget) USB audio interface (+ USB filter?) and a pair of monitors

Post by bgravato » Tue May 18, 2021 12:42 am

I tried the Presonus Audiobox on a laptop today and there was no hiss, not even when connected to AC.

Must be the NUC then... unfortunately replacing the NUC is not an option right now, so I'll probably go with the Presonus 3.5 BT monitors for now and possibly buy a focusrite scarlett later.

Thanks for all the input guys!

I'll come back to report how it went with the BT monitors.

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Re: Any recommendations for a new (budget) USB audio interface (+ USB filter?) and a pair of monitors

Post by kozikowski » Tue May 18, 2021 2:33 am

The 48V DC generator will most definitely have some kind of filtering, however, they could easily skimp on the filtering of the DC to supply the actual USB chip.
That would be an interesting battle between engineering and marketing. We're going to go to the trouble to filter the 48volts only to have the product crash from 5 volt noise.

It's been our experience on the forum that interfaces that make 48volts are not likely to have frying mosquitoes noises—or at least not prominent ones. USB microphones are almost always the culprit. I used to call the noises "Yeti Curse" from the number of Yeti microphones that arrived with hissing whine.

Koz

Paul2
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Re: Any recommendations for a new (budget) USB audio interface (+ USB filter?) and a pair of monitors

Post by Paul2 » Thu May 20, 2021 9:38 am

That would be an interesting battle between engineering and marketing.
I can tell you that marketing will win 80% of the time, most products are built to a price.

Below, I have attached a silent recording of a few seconds, from a Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen.
Input is from a Yamaha LS9 and the Scarlett is connected to a Mac-mini (older one, not M1).
Audacity recording level was set to 100%.

It's extremely clean, very little noise in the very low end.
Attachments
ScarlettNoiseRecGain100Percent.wav
(1.94 MiB) Downloaded 5 times

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