Suggestions for cheap 24-bit sound recording card

Hello all! I’ve been ripping vinyl from my Audio Technica LP120 through my Harmon Kardon HK 3390 receiver for a while (it has a pretty good phono stage/preamp). However none of my PCs have 24 bit recording capability and I’ve heard 24 bit is required to make a truly loss-less backup of vinyl. I can definitely tell some difference between my 16 bit recordings and the source vinyl, so I’m looking to upgrade.

I’d rather get a USB sound card. That way I’d be able to use it both on my laptop and on my HTPC. However, I can not find any 24 bit recording solution over USB for under $50. It seems all the USB devices that would support 24 bit recording have more features than I need. They either have a phono pre-amp (don’t need it), guitar inputs (also don’t need), or XLR inputs (really, really don’t need).

This is the cheapest solution I’ve found so far, but it has guitar and mic inputs which will be totally wasted for what I want to use it for:

If I can not find a cheap USB solution, I may just got with a bottom-of-the-barrel 24 bit capable soundcard for my HTPC, something like the ones below, but I’m worried they may make poor quality recordings? I can’t find any reports of people using these for 24 bit recording at all:

Thanks in advance

This is the current version of a device that I’ve used for the past six years to record my vinyl the Rolad Edirol UA-1EX

My understanding is that to use this (mine or the DUO-Capture) at 24-bit you need ASIO drivers and to use those you need to be able to compile Audacity for yourself from the source with ASIO support. We cannot supply Audacity with ASIO built-in due to licensing restrictions.

I have used mine set at 16-bit to make some excellent captures. I work with Audacity set to its default 32-bit float (Audacity will handle the up-sampling) to provide good headroom for any editing I may do and on final export of production files I export to 16-bit WAv (with triangular dithering). This has produced excellent transfers for me - amd I listen on fairly high-end equipment - QUAD ESL-57 electrostatic speakers on on my studio Sennheiser headphones - but admitted my ageing ears are fading a little.

The other device to consider, much recommended on this forum, is the Behringer UCA-202. That and the Edirol were on my final short-list - I chose the Edirol because a) it has a gain control and b) it has digital input and I had MiniDiscs to transfer.

Also worth considering would be the ART combined phono-preamp and USB soundcard:
Like you, I started out using the pre-amp from an old hi-fi stack of my wife’s, but when that died I needed to get a phono pre-amp - after research I settled on this ART device:
The integrated ART device I recommended above combines the DJ-Pre11 preamp with the USB soundcard funcyionality all in one small neat high quality aluminium casing (if I were buying now that is definitely what I would buy).


Thanks, that’s a lot of good info. I hadn’t realized the advantage of working in the 32 bit format before processing but it makes sense to me now. Maybe I’ll get better results if I try that.

Most of that list will only run at 16 bit – which is not dreadful. That’s the bit depth of Music CDs and broadcast television.

You may discover that the search for 24-bit compatible equipment is going to require considerable effort. That and you’ll have to stay 24-bit in your music archives. 24-bit is going to be enormously higher quality than MP3 can even dream about, so compressed music files are out of the question.