The two inboard high-quality sound cards that keep popping up are the
CardDeluxe from DAL and the Lynx series.
Some people on this list use the CardDeluxe and, at one point, Bruel
and Kjaer used it in their PC-based instruments. I believe that this
is the most affordable high-end card available. The Lynx spec out a
bit better but cost more.
There may be driver issues with any system internal or external.
I will second the recommendation for RME. I have two RME Multiface II
units that sound great and have 8 channels of A-D and D-A conversion.
The DAL and Lynx cards are PCI and that may be an end-of-life
interface. The RME card that interfaces to the outboard converters is
available in PCI-Express which is the newer technology and if you
upgrade you only have to swap the interface card, not the converters.
A point of confusion: the connection between the RME card and the
external converters is via a FireWire cable but it is NOT FireWire protocol.
My relationship with RME is I have purchased two Multiface units and
two Multiface II units about seven years later. They have my money, I
have their units. I am happy.
I also have a MOTU 828 MK II which has a FireWire interface. It has 8
line inputs and two mic inputs. I use it for field recordings with a
PC laptop. They finally seem to have a stable driver set for my Dell
Inspiron 5150 (an older, but quite competent laptop). The drivers
have been more stable in a Dell 8300 Desktop.
I have also heard of problems with some users with the MOTU
Traveller, while others love it. I did not like the MOTU 8PRE and sold mine.
I think the RME Multiface II sounds better than either the original
Multiface or the MOTU 828, but the MOTU 828 is no slouch--I think
it's approximately equivalent to the original Multiface. All these
differences are very subtle. The 828 was much better sounding than
the 8PRE. There is a USB version of the 828 and also a MK III version of it.
If you're using a Mac (I know you said PC), I have heard great things
about Metric Halo.
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.