Reel to Reel and General Tapes Questions

Hi all, I've gone down the road to reel to reel recently. It started with some of my speaker trading around and I ended up with a non working, recapped, Pioneer RT 909. Its been 6 months but I've got my first working reel to reel. I bought a DBX 224 and a Pioneer expander, haven't try them yet because the Pioneer was damaged in shipping. I also ordered a pro reel to reel from ebay, Otari mx 5050 I believe. I plan on going over this unit as I think it will be much better that the Pioneer. I was looking for some tips and tricks as far as upgrades to the expander units, noise reduction and wonder if anyone has ever tried to use VCR audio heads in a custom diy attempt at high quality sound. Also, what other pro gear is out there looking into? Thanks.
Otari is up the ladder so to speak of the Otari.
I had the 5050lll-2 that handles tape in a different league than a 
home unit that lasted a few years and sold it and went with a
Sony APR-5003 which is a dream to work with.
As far as vcr heads, why.....when you have a reel to reel.
Russe41, thanks for the reply. I was figuring the Otari would be better then home units, I might sell the Pioneer after I get the Otari up to snuff. How would you rate the sound of the sony vs the Otari? My thoughts on the VCR audio heads were that they are newer than reel to reel tech, designed to produce quality sound at slow speed any potentially available for not much money. I also am speaking of the VCRs that had the fixed audio heads, not in the scanning head. More or less I was thinking of this as a 1 off project.
I have a DBX 224 as well it doesnt do any good on my Akai GX 635D reel to reel for hiss , since the pinch roller seems to nip that in the bud, but my Pioneer 900 cassette player really gets help removing audible hiss, no pinch roller to help the cassette deck, there is a catch with the DBX 224 you have to encode the tape so it can be decoded during playback, meaning those tapes  cass/rtr  only play decoded on the deck that has the DBX connected and on , if you play the tapes w/o the DBX in loop and or off in the loop you wont like what you hear. So if you want to have a single dedicated deck /stereo system to listen to all your DBX encoded tapes it is a worth while investment, my encoded/decoded cassette tapes sound identical to cd/lp  or what ever source , wonderful little device, and it does no audible damage to rest of sources not using the device while the DBX 224 is still on , it has a bypass button for the ocd crowds too.