Okay so here's my quick story. I just got my desktop PC working with intentions of doing sound recording and music playback. I have studio monitors to plug in (building a passive preamp at the moment for connectivity to the computer and other sources). I also have a Sansamp BDDI to use as a DI/preamp when connecting to the computer. My Sound Blaster Live 5.1 is pretty weak for sound playback, it has a bit of buzzing from the monitors, so I can assume it won't do that well with recording my bass. I have done lots of searching on here and other forums about which cards to use. Some people say the Creative cards aren't known for recording although I find anybody bashing the X-Fi Xtreme Music card for recording purposes. It's an older card with good specs and I can find it for around $30-$40 used. I have also pondered the idea of getting a sound card with external box for connections. Because a card like that has features such as a built in preamp for connecting a guitar directly, I don't see that being useful since my Sansamp BDDI already acts as a preamp. At this point in time, I'm thinking of running a 1/4" mono to 1/8" mono cable from the BDDI to the sound card's line in, which means a standard PCI sound card and not a fancy external box. Specs to match my needs: 1/8" line in PCI interface Gold connectors are nice but not a huge priority Compatible with Windows XP and Windows 7, perhaps Ubuntu Linux if I get around to recording with it Does not need to have a preamp built in Can be had for $50 or less Cards I have considered: M-Audio Revolution, Audigy 2 ZS, X-Fi Xtreme Music, Audigy 2 Platinum EX LMK what you use, or have heard, and also what to stay away from Thanks!