dCS, Apogee and Prism all have sterling reputations as studio converters. But Benchmark, Mytek, RME, Grace, Lynx, Drawmer and others also make very high quality products. Much of what would make an A/D best for someone depends upon what features you seek. Since so many of the converters rely upon the same chipsets you might discover that A/D don't sound that different from one another. What are you looking to do?
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24 bit instead of 16 bit will give you more digital headroom to play with. AKM make excellent chipsets used in many devices. Clocking is critical for any converter but this has been a well known concern for over 10 years....so most modern well built devices with good power supplies should perform well.
Personally. I'd go for device features first (inputs/ouputs/formats etc.) rather than buy a device based only on the ADC.
There is no best. That's like asking what is the best flavored ice cream?
You'll get many different opinions, my favorite is the dcS La Scala, at $15K it's a bit pricey though. I wouldn't say it is the best, simply the one that suits my tastes best. I can't say that I've heard them all either though.
I've been researching similar systems for vinyl archiving and transfer. Two hard-disk recorder products come to mind: the Tascam DV-RA1000HD and the Alesis Masterlink ML-9600. The Tascam recorder will support up to 24-bit resolution at sampling rates as high as 192 kHz (DSD or PCM). The Masterlink can handle up to 24/96, but seems most suitable for Redbook CD. Both units seem like excellent value for the money; the Tascam has a street price of $2K and the Masterlink can be gotten for just under $800.
Lynx = excellent. But there's a hitch. CEDAR now offers a set of software tools, which at $4000 (seams to be the price) are a bargain for CEDAR. If you're going to use digital noise filtering, use CEDAR or not at all.
The CEDAR tools only work with Pro Tools, and fortunately there is a low cost version, Prot Tools M-powered at $300, that works with M-Audio soundcards. M-Audio cards are too cheap themselves to be usable as anything other than an interface.
If it weren't for all that, Lynx would be the obvious choice.