Be aware that you're probably not going to find any microcassette player
with a real line output connection, except for the JBR unit.

Instead, you'll probably be using the miniature phone jack output, which is
designed for earphones or headphones.

This brings up a potential problem of level and impedance mismatches going
into the input of your WaveLab hardware. You need to experiment to adjust
the output of the microcassette player to minimize distortion and noise.
Noise might not be a problem, unless you reduce the output of the player too
much, and distortion might not be a problem unless the output is very high
or very low. Find a playback setting that works, and mark it.

You also want to be aware that connecting two of these units together in
this way makes a ground loop (resulting in hum) more likely if the player
has an AC connection. For this reason, I've always used a battery operated
microcassette player. I stick to the major name brands.

This format has real problems anyway, not the least of which is that most
microcassette recorders have built in mics which pick up motor noise during
the original recording. So, in the entire scheme of things, I don't think
you're losing too much by using a battery operated cheapie, in fact you may
be doing better than using a mains operated unit with its potential ground
loop problems.

The JBR Tech cassette machines are much more than a thousand dollars, and
they have several special purpose features not available anywhere else. They
are built to order. I think 3M made such machines back in the day; they are
mainly for forensic work, especially for provenance and authenticity. For
example, they have heads closer to the leader tape so they can detect the
record start signature, i.e. the place where recording first started in
relation to virgin tape.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any microcassette player, not even the JBR
Tech, that has adjustable azimuth. Because of the relatively slow tape
speed, it would be desirable to be able to adjust playback head azimuth
easily for this format.

So, if I were you, I would pick up a good quality, name brand portable
microcassette recorder/player, and save your money for something else, like
a good audio card. 

It's not an intuitive solution, but it's worked for me.

Parker Dinkins
MasterDigital Corporation
CD Mastering + Audio Restoration

on 3/23/06 11:25 AM US/Central, Brandon Burke at [log in to unmask]

> Does anyone have further (or updated) recommendations regarding
> microcassette players?
> Something with (at least) one 1/8" output?
> I will be plugging the unit into a mixing board and editing the audio in
> WaveLab from there, if that helps any.
> As for the JBR mentioned below, sounds nice and all, but I'm thinking
> something significantly less expensive than "multiple thousand dollars".
> Not cheap, mind you, but a little more on the reasonable side.