Cassette Tape Player Mods

Another simple mod but very satisfying one. If you need this warm analog lo-fi tape sounds in your synth setup, you don’t need to buy some expensive multitrack Tascam Portastudio like recorders.

You can get this cheap brand new Bush Portable Cassette Player and Recorder with AM FM Radio, and do some mods to it!

First is just a pure visual mod, removing the antenna and front cover with the speaker to give it easy access to the cassette.

We will also move the switch from AM/FM because I would like to use build-in radio as additional input/instrument source and get some interesting noise sounds, there is no antenna so there will be a lot of noise 🙂

We will need to remove also battery terminal wires to get access to the board, we won’t need them any way because we will use battery compartment as only available space for our mods. So no batteries sorry!

We can use external 3V DC power supply, and replace DC socket for the standard size one by the way.

Solder wires for AM/FM switch in the same place where cover switch was soldered to. For tape speed control we will use the same pads as existing 500 ohm pot, accessible form the back. Best idea is to desolder the old one and replace it with bigger resistance one to get some more fluid speeds and easy access.

I’m using 5k pot from old servo motor, and flashlight switch because I can attach them with double-sided mounting tape on the wall of the cover without drilling too much holes. Just one for the line-in socket 🙂

For the line-in I’m using stereo 3,5 mm socket with the switch, connected straight to the microphone pads on the PCB.

The only resistor is used between pads to the jack rings to separate stereo channels and mix them to mono. When jack is inserted it will break microphone connection and record sound from the line-in when record button is pressed.

Because servo pot shaft has unusual dimension, I’m using some painted black plastic bottle cap as a knob. You can use hot glue to attach it to the shaft.

Put back cover on, cut some supporting plastic of the battery compartment to make some space for the wires inside.

And that’s it. Looks great isn’t it?


Added standard DC barrel power socket and AMS1117 1A 3.3V power regulator to be able to use any 9V power adapter with center negative polarity. Current 3V socket is also working but it’s hard to get 3V power adapter for it so this is more usable device now 🙂

AMS1117 pinout

Here you can see this mod in action!

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