Sound Cards

I'm a very picky audiophile and was stunned by a question my wife posed to me while cleaning the basement. She pointed to my old Crown CX744 10 inch reel to reel and said why don't you get ride of that thing since you never play it anyway? All you have to do is transfer your one of a kind recordings to CD. Well she just put me into the computer sound card world with a great idea. I was informed by young students at my university that I wanted to rip music. Well all of a sudden I'm part of the MPEG III crowd. Does anyone have a suggestion as to the right sound card (and software) to take an analoge stereo source and convert it to a CDROM? I'd like full 16/44.1K sampling, not MPEG III. I don't care about CD to CD transfers.
How much do you want to spend? The problem with most PC sound cards is that the ADC is done inside your PC -- a _very_ bad place for analog signals to be bouncing around. If this is the route you _really_ want to take, check out for stats on a bunch of popular/available sound cards. If you still want the PC solution, a better way is to get an external ADC and pipe in the digital signal to the PC. There are plenty of cards which do this -- just stay away from the Soundblaster digital (how can someone screw up a digital signal that bad...?). For instance, check out RME cards: With this option, you'll be able to store them at 24/96 as well, which will sound a lot better than transfering them to 16/44.1 for CDs. I'd say that'd be the best way to go on a reasonable budget. Also, check out the mass-market CD recorders. I'm not very versed in these, but I hear they do a decent job.
Good advice from Audaibnjad. Another idea might be to go to a local Guitar Center or Mars Music and check out some of the entry level pro-audio systems that include a two channel EXTERNAL A/D with a sound card and some CD burning software. Sweetwater Sound also carries this stuff.
For consumer markets, the soundblaster live is a good choice. I have one in my pc, and it produces fairly good sound. I run it into a set of prologic decoding sony speakers. It's pretty good sounding. The soundblaster has two large advantages. A) relatively low cost (around 200 1 year ago) B) it's the compatibility standard. C) It can output digital. You can run it into the input of a good quality DAC and get some good sound. I have not done this.
look at what ARDVARK has to offer for the pc -- approx 700 though. or just buy an Alesis master link and record at 24/96 and save to aiff from the drive for later. Consider burning a 44k/20bit cd in the mean time. Machine is about 2 grand.
This is slightly on topic - I'd like to make a cable to go from the soundcard (1/8 stereo mini) on my computer to my bedroom stereo (RCA in). What are the best steps to take? Connectors, cable type/gage, shileding configuration? Thanks, Shawn
You should go to Radio Shack and tell them what you want to do. They sell a nice variety of cable converters and cable signal amplifiers. They helped me run long cables for my satellite dish. The results are good, and it was reasonably priced. They have one really cool product that actually converts your video signal to RF, then tranmits to an UNCONNECTED video receiver at another location. They might make the same thing for audio. Quality is tbd!