There are professional units from JBR

If the price of the above is beyond your budget, you might wish to 
consider two alternatives:
(1) Find a portable or desk transcriber that works reasonably well, come 
out of the headphone jack and capture that in the computer.
(2) Take the tape out of the microcassette shell, load it into a 
standard cassette shell, and use a high-end standard cassette player.

For the relatively small volume of microcassette transfers I'm asked to 
do (maybe 10-20 per year), I take option (2). The sound will be 
backwards and at 2x or 4x speed. So record at 96 ks/s and then when you 
play it back at 48 ks/s, you'll still have full audio bandwidth in the 
digital domain--the analog player will have cut off somewhere around 20 
kHz or so, therefore you'll only have 10 kHz of audio in the file, but 
it won't be digitally limited.

If you have to go down to 1/4 speed, your top end will be limited (again 
in the analog domain by the repro deck) to 5 kHz.

But, interestingly, those are the limits of the JBR unit as well. 
Standard speed on a microcassette is 2.4 cm/s (15/16 in/s) and LP is 1.2 
cm/s (15/32 in/s) while a standard cassette is 4.8 cm/s (1-7/8 in/s). 
There just isn't much high end on the tape at 15/32 in/s!

The technique on my website for reloading cassettes can be adapted to 
microcassettes as well. If you cut the tape right at the empty hub side 
of the opening, you'll preserve the start pulses that JBR talks about.

You will not be able to return the tapes to the microcassette shell, but 
this has been acceptable to a wide range of clients. One potential 
client did not want the original artifact damaged, so I declined the 



On 2013-04-19 4:49 PM, Grant, Tyra wrote:
> We need to purchase a microcassette player for creating digital transfers.
> I'd like a durable player that will provide playback quality  as good as is reasonably possible from a microcassette.
> Any recommendations?
> Thanks,
> Tyra Grant
> [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> Digital and electronic media preservation
> University of Kansas Libraries
> Phone: 785-864-8951

Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.