I thought I'd just post this up... got an RQ-2102, which is cited in multiple places as Apple's recommended cassette player for the Apple-1... it isn't. It might work well, but it's pretty clearly not what Apple intended to use with it.
It's got a counter, which Apple specifically says their recommended deck didn't have. Oh, and Radio Museum estimates the RQ-2102 as having launched in 1994, which I could believe (that does not look like 1970s styling, and it's pushing it for 1980s).
I have a sneaking suspicion that the RQ-309DS that Apple recommended for use with the Apple II (in both the Mini Manual and the red book) is actually the one they recommended for the Apple-1, too, with a trick - some time in 1977, it appears that Panasonic may have changed the buttons on the RQ-309 family, from flat buttons, to dimpled buttons. (However, that may just be stylistic differences (combined with art differences in newspaper ads), especially between regional versions - I believe the RQ-309DS is the US market version.)
It doesn't have a counter (matches what Apple said in the ACI manual), it dates to about 1974, and there's ads all over the place in newspapers in the mid 1970s, advertising it for $35-40 - right in the under $40 range that Apple said.