If it has tape, it'll hiss. Nature of the beast.
the cure...201, 301..close enough!
...not to mention having to clean the heads and occasionally demagnetizing them, replacing tape loops, having a tape break in the middle of a song, the much larger size, and cost. The BS-310 makes a lot of sense if it's being used for gigs especially.
If you want to cut hiss as much as possible clean the heads with ethyl (NOT rubbing) alcohol, lube the moving parts with a light machine oil, demagnetize the heads, and replace the tape. Tape hiss drove audiophiles and sound guys crazy for years. Even with Dolby, you lose highs or you have hiss. The faster the tape speed, the better.
I never notice it once I start playing and I've been using a RE-150 for about 25 years. Lovely sounding units.
What kind of tape are you using?
Please help support the Gretsch Pages through Paypal. It's quick, easy, and much appreciated!