It all started when I wanted to record my bass--just to tape riffs and crap. Was not trying to "make a CD". So I went and blew two or three hundred bucks on a used Tascam mkII 4-track, special tapes and an SM57 or 58 (can't remember which) and mic cables and special Impedance adaptors and such. Well, I had hoped between that stuff, an SVT-CL (w/balanced line out), three different cabs, a good passive Fender P-bass, the Manual, a lot of free-time and homerecording.com that things would be OK. Wrong. It all sucked. The track of the balanced line out from the amp was thin. Track of the mic'd cab was quiet and thin. Straight in balanced and unbalanced. Tried everything. Levels all different ways. Knobs (on the bass & amps & recorder) and buttons in all different positions. Blending tracks. Different mix-down techniques. Different special adaptors and tapes. Borrowed a different amp that had an adjustable balanced out level knob. Tried the unbalanced out (worked better). Borrowed an AKG D112 after advice here (worked better). Basically experienced what many beginners seem to report here. Well, at that point I was advised I needed a compressor and a limiter, an additional(!) mixer, an active bass, different strings and three or four other things that I can't remember (this part all happened back in March). And at that point I threw in the towel. I said f**k it! I then auctioned all of it off and felt relieved. Well the other day I was visiting my mom and saw that her 30 year old Sanyo tape recorder had a tiny (1/8) mic input. I brought it home, plugged straight into it, put in some wore-out old 20 cent Maxell Lo-Fi with a hundred dubs on it already, hit record and Son of a B*t*h! I sound like thunder.