It is July, 2006, right? I'm just wondering because Marantz is coming out with a dual transport cassette deck later this year, the SD4051. That's right, a cassette deck. Color me surprised because I thought I had a better chance of seeing Windows Vista released than seeing a cassette deck ever again. While it does look nice, the mere thought of incorporating a cassette deck into my home audio system sends shivers down my spine.
Phobias aside, the SD4051 does have a few advanced features that might make you want to consider it, especially if you've got a bunch of tapes laying about. Users can control variables like pitch and playback transport in order to make sure that recordings sound as close to perfect as possible. Sound recording bias is automatically adjusted by the unit and the recording side makes use of auto reverse. Normally, I just burn MP3s, but this sounds much more fun. And easier.
Since your dusty old cassette tapes probably have probably been around for a while and don't necessarily sound as good as they used to, Dolby B attempts to decrease that annoying hiss.
It's scheduled to be released in late August in Japan for about $320.