Focusrite Launches New Clarett Series of Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces

Focusrite_Clarett_8PreXAt the 2015 NAMM Show: Focusrite has launched a range of audio interfaces, the Clarett series, that combine a new preamp design with Thunderbolt technology, to offer ‘exceptional sound quality’ with an interface latency of under 1ms.

Focusrite’s Clarett interfaces offer clear conversion, 24-bit, 192kHz sample rates and world class dynamic range. Their brand new Clarett mic preamps┬áreplicate the impedance and transformer resonance of the original ISAs, resulting in exceptional clarity.

Focusrite_Clarett_2PreThe Clarett range is made up of four devices:

  • the 2Pre (10 In/4 Out),
  • 4Pre (18 In/8 Out),
  • 8Pre (18 In/20 Out)
  • and flagship 8Pre X (26 In/28 Out).

The flagship 2U interface has been designed with the permanent racked studio install in mind, featuring extended ADAT I/O, and separate rear panel inputs for mic, line and instrument, as well as dedicated phantom power, phase reverse and high pass filters on every channel.

Focusrite Clarett Range at a Glance

  • New Clarett preamps model the classic ISA design
  • World class dynamic range: 116dB A/D and 118dB D/A
  • Latest Thunderbolt technology ensures interface latency of under 1ms
  • 24-bit, 192kHz sample rates
  • All expandable via ADAT
  • Flagship Clarett 8Pre X designed for permanent professional studio install
  • New 64-bit AAX, AU and VST compatible Red 2 and Red 3 Plug-in Suite
  • Detailed metering
  • Includes MIDI I/O

Pricing and Availability. The Focusrite Clarett range of audio interfaces will be available for purchase sometime in Spring or Summer 2015, with the following US MAP prices: Clarett 2Pre – $499.99; Clarett 4Pre – $699.99; Clarett 8Pre – $999.99; Clarett 8Pre X – $1299.99. For additional information, check out the Focusrite website.

21 thoughts on “Focusrite Launches New Clarett Series of Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces

  1. *sigh* will wait for usb announcements. Thunderbolt will go the way of FireWir,e Zip drives and SCSI ports. I have enough trouble keeping drivers working, let alone worrying about out dated connections and formats.

    1. Thunderbolt may seem to be another Firewire, but if You will take a closer look how it works, You may see why it is not dead end. Professional market needs this standard to be alive and progress. USB is just not a right solution for certain scenarios…
      What surely is pain in the ass, is price of Thunderbolt peripherals.

    2. I’ve had the same firewire interface (motu ultralite mk3) since around 2008 or 2009? and has been used with three generations of macs, my current being a late 2011 macbook pro. So I’d say I got my moneys worth, plus if I upgrade my mac to a newer one with only thunderbolt, that can interface with firewire via a conversion cable. All around I’d say thunderbolt is pretty flexible with past and future connections.

  2. Firewire? Still prefer it, got the original saffire years on. I’ll get one of these. USB hasn’t been too kind to be honest not even USB 2.0 and I am yet to even contemplate 3. Not sure what you’re on about to be honest…

  3. Thunderbolt is unbelievable!

    I can transfer a 200Gb Hdd image from one Mac to another in 10 minutes!

    This is unprecedented and a HUGE leap forward – Keep the USB format – yes – definitely – there are just too many peripherals that do not need the high data rates but I’d happily see Firewire die and be replaced – it never really took off anyway.

  4. The market price for these is a bit terrifying. Can’t wait for when USB3 standard interfaces start popping up in a couple of years

  5. I have nothing but praise for their USB 2.0 interface, which has been 100% plug n’ play from the start a year ago. My previous two interfaces were shite in the end and this one solved it all. I’m with the group who wonder when the NEXT format will try to toast whatever I am currently using. Firewire & Thunderbolt are proven performers, but I get the feeling that USB 3.0 will be the main workhorse for those of us who AREN’T writing film scores. I’m barely pushing 2.0 in Logic with about 25 tracks in a recent case, so with a 3.0 interface and a little more RAM, I’ll probably let the other formats ride. Whatever works for you, consider that a pal uses their 8-preamp model for his acoustic percussion rig and has had the same perfect performance. Focusrite is part of my A-list for gear.

  6. You will not be able to get sub 1ms latency out of USB. The current protocol and architecture do not allow for that. 1394 and TB are really the only way to do this externally, otherwise it is back to PCI/PCI-E cards.

  7. So much for Arturia’s ridiculous attempt to criticize other manufacturers of audio interfaces. This appears to be both cheaper and superior. And they do not hype it with false claims about getting rid of the “octopus of cables.”

    1. I have never been near an Apogee product, but as they are very high-end, it may not be a fair comparison. My main take on it is “Does it pass the bell test?” When I hit a tubular bell from an orchestral app and its so pure, I can hear a bit of dust floating down from its frame, that’s as good a reproduction as I need. Signal coloration is always subjective, but when I can get an additive sheen to sparkle properly, I call it Good.

  8. The benefit of thunderbolt is the super fast input/output latency. It makes plugging a live input like a hardware synth, microphone or guitar into your audio interface and using plugins for sound processing without discernible latency a reality.

    This is big news for people using guitar modellers. Or MPC style finger drummers. Vocalists that like lots of effects. It’s a really good thing, and I myself plan on getting a thunderbolt interface soon just for the lower latency even though I already have a good USB 2.0 interface.

  9. No pass thru? I would consider the big guy if it had thru but with limited ports already being used for FW and ethernet adapters, also without pass through, I’d have no way to plug this in.

    I read this might be Intel’s fault though as their cheapest chipsets for OEM don’t support pass through. They’re really trying to kill this technology before it takes off it seems.

  10. It looks like you can’t specify whether or not you want channels 1 and 2 to act as one stereo channel or two independent mono channels. I know I could do this within a DAW, but I really like this feature on my interface. This is the only reason I am being turned off by the unit.

  11. I agree w the person who feels that they have gotten there money’$ worth from Firewire. I’ve been using a 2006 original Saffire, w 2 mic pres and 8 ours plus 2 phone outs since it came out. The latency has been excellent and the “sound” of those Saffire pres is very good. So good in fact that I’ve always used them in series w a nice all tube channel strip to “blend” the tube strips output sound w the Saffire pres to taste. Sorta the same concept as u see on certain companies products which allow use to blend tube and transistor tone like the UA 4-610. It REALLY gives me great variety of tone and color, or transparency. The Original Saffire has a “Sound” to my ears, that smokes every other sub $1000 interface. I think it’s the D-As and tthe Saffire monitor section and headphone amps. The A-D is STILL better sounding that most recent interfaces, and I’m only using the internal clock and have debated buying a Black Lion Mini Clock to slave it via SPDIF to see if it will sound even better. Focusrite won me as a customer w the original Saffire and I believe that many feel that the newest Saffires like the Pro40 are best sounding in their class-price range.
    As for Thunderbolt, it’s going to be here for a while. I encouraged a client to get a UA Apollo Twin Quad and it basically has NO DISCERNABLE Latency!! But all of these TB devices have only 1 TB port, so I HIGHLY recommend a Thunderbolt Dock-Hub which will expand yr TB connectivity, giving u an extra TB link, multiple usb 3 ports, hdmi and Ethernet… some also have FW 800. Theyrun $150-200 from Belkin and Stargate (tested for Apollo) BEWARE!! Apple Thunderbolt to FW 800 DOES NOT WORK WITH APOLLO TWIN, but apparently DOES with the fill Apollo’s! So if u wanna use a Clarett w an adapter check w Focusrite first. I believe thatMANY of these companies devices use the same orVERY similar AD DA chips… Burr Brown or the like. Apogee i believe are proprietary. So with the Apollo or the Audient id22 or the likes, I believe you’ll get SIMILAR conversion quality. The Audient is supposed to sound GREAT, but VERY limited Analog i/o which is a bummer, otherwise I’d probably purchase that as my Saffire replacement. The Apollo sounds GREAT, and has some peachy free UAD plugins and can run them all. It also has Unison mic pre modeling on top of the already very nice sounding Apollo Pres… it models API, UA and Neve pres, but only the UA 610 tube pre model comes w it. The modelof the 610 sounds GREAT and i here the same for the Neve 1073 and APIs. However, Unison is digital code run on top of the Apollo pre which changes impedance and sonic characteristics of the original pre. Focusrite claims Clarett models their ISA pres, but that it’s all done in the analog realm, before ADs which sounds better and keeps latency so low. So…. U get alot w Apollo, much of which u have to buy, similar pre tech, UAD Plugins, but no word clock . And adat in but not much i/o. Audient gives u GREAT pres, USB not TB and adat IN, but not out no wordclock and Focusrite gives u similar conversion, analog model pres and adat in and out and wordclock on the 2 high end models and a minimum of 6 analog outs… then there is the Arturia interface which has almost everything u could want, adat, i/o, rca in and plenty of analog outs, USB i-o and hub, probably the samr burr brown adda but unknown mic pres and its their first interface, so…. it’s a tuff field and thats not counting Roland, presonus, motu, rme etc.
    I’m thinking I’m gonna go for at LEAST. The Focusrite 4 pre… though i may splurge for the 8 or 8xl based upon the ROCKSOLID experience i have w my beloved Saffire original and the great pres and wordclock and adat. But now Apollo is “expanding” so i gotta do more research. Sound on Sound needs to FINALLY do a head to head of all thsr products and see whats REALLY WHAT!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *