Here are my thoughts and recommendation having used the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and Lynx Studio LynxONE PCI cards.
We use the 2496 in our access/auditioning workstations.
Pros: Better than most computer motherboard audio, adequate for access or auditioning use.
Cons: Analog I/O is unbalanced RCA only, Digital I/O is S/PDIF only.
Recommendation: If cost is really a factor, step up to the M-Audio Audiophile 192.
We use the LynxONE with AES/EBU and Mytek converters in our preservation studio.
Pros: Exceptional quality PCI Card, Balanced XLR analog I/O support +4/-10 levels, AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital I/O,
Word clock I/O for synchronizing, all breakout cables included.
Cons: Expensive, discontinued in 7/2008.
Recommendations: Lynx L22 is their current two channel audio PCI card.
While I have never used the DAL CDX-01, I hear enough good things about them from folks that I trust at ARSC. They have balanced analog I/O and can be upgraded from S/PDIF to AES/EBU digital I/O if you want to go that way in the future. I'd place them somewhere below the Lynx Studio products, but not very far.
FWIW...I've also used an Edirol UA-1EX USB interface for some "quick and dirty" transfers (not for preservation) and have been pretty impressed with its quality. It can do 96/24, but not in full duplex mode. And since these transfers are usually for CDs, 44.1/16 transfers just make more sense. It also has optical S/PDIF input and I'd say it is definitely better than the built in audio on my laptop.
Hope this helps,
John H. Bondurant
Sound Preservation Archivist
Special Collections & Archives
Berea, KY 40404
(859) 985-3389 - voice
(859) 985-3912 - fax
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From: Bill Fliss [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 3:17 PM
Subject: Sound card recommendation
I know that conventional wisdom prefers a stand-alone A/D converter instead
of using your computer's sound card to convert an analog signal to digital,
but can anybody recommend a sound card to me that can handle a capture at
24-bit/96kHz? This would be for a PC.