I have an Aiwa AM-F70 MD recorder that has a switch to set the mic sensitivity. I notice when I set it to "high" there is a hiss and when set to "low" I don't get as strong a signal, though of course the hiss is gone. Of course at the low setting I will probably need to boost the levels, which will probably result in there being hiss. So...it seems I will get some amount of hiss regardless, so my logic tells me it's better to get the stronger level than to try to avoid hiss with an (initial) weaker level. I also have the automatic level control on, so I'm not sure if that is contributing. It's a one-person operation so I can't really monitor levels manually. Any advice appreciated.