hey everyone, this is a pretty technical question so any help would be appreciated.

I'm trying to do some guitar recording on my laptop, and currently I'm borrowing my friend's 1/4" to USB cable (Alesis GuitarLink: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/alesis-guitarlink-usb-audio-interface-cable ). The sound quality is decent, but not up to par with what I'd like.

My question is this: would a nicer USB interface, like the M-Audio Fast Track or Line 6 TonePort give me better audio quality? I know they come with recording software and a bunch of amp simulators and effects, but I don't really need any of that since I get a good tone out of my amp already. So strictly in terms of sound quality, do you think one of those nicer interfaces would be better than the Alesis GuitarLink cable?

Thanks for any help!
Mischief. Mayhem. Soap.

"I am Jack's complete lack of suprise"
You'll get a better quality DI, for sure. Where is your amp factoring in to all this if you're just going guitar>usb?
well right now with the Alesis cable I go guitar ---> amp ---> laptop USB slot. If I got say an M-Audio FastTrack I'd go guitar --> amp ---> Fast Track ---> laptop USB slot. or maybe it'd be smarter to just use the amp simulators and skip the amp altogether. Either way I'm just looking for higher quality recording than my current setup.
Mischief. Mayhem. Soap.

"I am Jack's complete lack of suprise"
Well, part of your problem right now going from guitar>amp>usb is that you have no speaker in your chain so you're recording the signal night from the amp preamp which probably sounds thin, harsh and like crap.

If your guitar sounds anything like the first 7 seconds of this clip, you could try using an impulse loader and a cab impulse response to get a better tone: http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Odirunn/music/all/play938973
thanks for the advice, is there any way I could go guitar-->amp--> to usb with my current setup? I'd rather not mess around with VSTs unless I have to
Mischief. Mayhem. Soap.

"I am Jack's complete lack of suprise"
If your amp has a line out, sure you could do that. However, to be honest unless you're running a nice tube amp line out, it's almost not work doing. Either way, you'll need to use a plug in to load an impulse response of a cab/speaker.
ohhh okay gotcha. Thanks a lot for the help!
Mischief. Mayhem. Soap.

"I am Jack's complete lack of suprise"
The peavey PV6 USB mixer is good and cheap $139.99.
Works with just about any D.A.W program.

Or if you got the $$$$ the Zoom R8 is is very good.
Your best bet is to get an interface and a mic. Line outs from amps, even from tube amps, just don't really give you the amp's tone. There's no speaker coloring the sound.

If you can pick up a FastTrack and a 57 you'll be able to capture the tone that you're actually hearing from your amp, and you'll be much more satisfied with it.