Best $100 - $200 USB Coverter

Ouch, my Windows XP dedicated music computer just died. Bad motherboard… Bad karma. Just picked up a refurbished computer and need to connect it to my DAC via a 15’ SPDIF cable. Unfortunately, I’m on a strict budget of about $100 - $200. It seems, I can either go with a USB cable to an SPDIF out external sound card (option 1) or use a USB to SPDIF converter. My old computer used the M-Audio Revolution 7.1 sound card with great success, but the card won‘t fit in the new computer. Would love your opinions on the “best sound” options within this tight budget.

1. M-Audio Audiophile USB External Sound Card (I believe comparable to my last system)

2. Pop Pulse PC Link II.

3. Trends Audio UD-10.1 USB Audio Converter

4. Blue Circle Audio USB Thingee

5. Hagerman USB Converter

SYSTEM: Dedicated Windows Vista music computer with an external USB 2.0 1TB HD > JRiver 12.0 software > (Signal SPDIF 15 ft cable) > Monarchy DIP > Cary 306 SACD 24/192 Upsampling DAC > McIntosh C-2200 tube preamp > Joule VZN-80 OTL amp.
Your advice is very appreciated.
None of the above. The Tascam US-144 does USB 2.0, 24/96 and is asynchronous. The USB cable can be a cheap one - has no effect.

I dont sell these BTW.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Steve, thanks so very much. Your unbiased advice is truly appreciated. I'm checkin' it out now.
Many Thanks, Jim
Hi Slhijb

You should read this article. Steve N. turned me on to it.

Audioengr: Would your recommend the Tascam for a Mac Mini? and will it pass DTS/AC3 for a hometheater setup?