I have just about finished recording an album at home using E-Mu 0404 and Cubasis VST 4. I think the sound is quite good, but it is not as clean as I dream it could be. I used a Joe Meek VC3 preamp, a PODxt for guitars, a SansAmp GT for bass, and M-Audio drum loops. I used a Groove Tubes GT55 large diaphram mic for vocals. I use BBE Sonic Maximizer plug-in to liven up the sound.
My question is this. Since my outboard stuff is decent quality, would buying a more expensive interface improve my overall sound quality. I know that more expensive interfaces have preamps built in. Since I already have a quality vocal preamp and guitar/bass preamps, would a more expensive E-MU card or Presonus Firewire Box add anything? I know that the E-MU 0404 uses the same converters as the more expensive models. Still, a Sound on Sound article says that the 1820M sounds noticeably clearer and brighter.
Any thoughts or recommendations would be appreciated. You can hear samples of my recordings at www.myspace.com/ozymandias3 to get an idea of the level of quality I'm at now.