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Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

USB audio interface from Focusrite belonging to the Scarlett 1st Generation series

Public price: $499 incl. VAT
1 Horrible treatment from customer support.Won't accept return on "not as described" Product
I have been using the Saffire Pro 40 for years, never had a problem with it. Connecting my PS4 and M3 synthesizer on the optical inputs no problem. For whatever reason, Focusite decided to drop the s/pdif support from their Scarlett series BUT keep it on the Clarett. That's ok of course, but its not specified ANYWHERE. Not on the product, not on their website.
I based my purchase thinking that it would work with s/pdif as implied, even the technician at support (mr Eric Borders) first suggestion was:

"You can change the SPDIF source to optical in the Device Settings tab in Focusrite control."

on the second response after I informed him that I don't have that option he said:

"I am sorry ! The 18i20 actually does not have optical SPDIF, the optical is only for ADAT unfortunately. The only SPDIF that would be used is the RCA SPDIF."

When their own employee is not aware that the feature is not there and he needs to look it up, why I am supposed to? They omit any optical specifications on their website (on purpose?) and on the product they are just marked as "optical" on all their products (from saffire to clarett)


His argument was that Its mentioned on the User Guide, which is not helpful because its for the "User" aka the one who bought it already.
Also he suggested to use a 20 euro adapter, which after research most of them dont even work properly, losing signal, latency etc.

At the end he said:
"I think it would be beneficial to have more information about the SPDIF and ADAT inputs and outputs in the 18i20 specifications page. This is something I am going to look into further to make sure we have that information listed there.
I do apologize that it was not clear on our website specifications of the ADAT and SPDIF connections.

How about this specifying it like this:

Or at the specs page as its supposed to be.

At this point I prefer to go back to my Saffire, which was working perfectly and I regret "upgrading" from.

The product was not presented correctly, the differences between lines of products should be on a table (you know the one with "ticks" and "Xs") so the customer knows what he is buying EXACTLY.

Its called false/misleading advertisement, and its illegal. RMA is also available if the product is not "as described"
When I said "I could sue but I am just asking to return the product and get my money back", I never got another reply. Silence from focusrite's twitter and Facebook accounts also, the shop where I bought it in my country, refuses to take it back (obviously) since its been opened and has no technical issues.

At the end, its about feeling cheated and being treated as a stupid person that should have read all the "user guide" before buying. They accepted its a mistake and it should be specified, so they should be the ones who pay for it, not the customer.
Focusrite, man up, give me a refund, fill all the specs on your site, create tables on which features are present and not between all your products and be a better company in the future. If you do all of these things, I will be there to upgrade to your new product again.

I'm sorry to hear that. I know this is probably not the reply your looking for but...

When I bought the focusrite Scarlett 18i20 it WAS listed in the specifications that the optical input was ADAT for extention purposes like an OCTO Pre and ADAT recorders. It never mentioned that this port was spdif optical compatible.

If it was they would have mentioned it.

OK perhaps it was not stated in the specs list as such but the information around the specs list was clear enough.

Other websites who tested the 18i20 and people who sold this device also mentioned the optical port as extented option for channels.... Never as it was an optical spdif.

Perhaps it was misleading for you

But can you blame others for that and attack them?

Their are a view posts on the internet who where thinking the same thing. Most of them didn't....

Also I'm not sure if the optical port is realy ADAT. How about it is compatible only?
You mentioned a logo of ADAT.... But had focusrite the rights to use the logo?
Copyright issue and so on?

It is bad the man / woman on the phone couldn't help you.... But they have so many products.... And so many questions on a day....

If you really need / want spdif optical look for something different... Sell the 18i20 and move on....

Attacking people like this will not solve anything.

I hope you can find something that suits your needs and that it will give you pleasure using it...

- Angelie

It's not about what you got to use ....    but how you use what you got...