Reel to Reel decks

Is anyone out there using reel to reels anymore? I remember at one time(30 years ago), they were probably some of the best analog reproduction equipment out there. Of course, it doesn't matter much if you can't buy good prerecorded tapes. I've googled prerecorded tapes, but haven't found much out there. Anyone have a good source? Also, can anyone recommend a good deck?
Akai was I think a rebranded Roberts. Man, that's going BACK.

If it turned on without smoking, give the mechanism a try.

If it is a '3-motor' the mechanicals will be somewhat less complex than Tandberg 3000x which is a single motor drive that has no pressure pads. The feed reel gets a little 'backspin' from the motor. The mechanism looks like a giant watch.
It'd cost 300 or 400$ to get it back in shape.

If the Akai surges or has any signs of rust or decay, get it serviced. Any rubber parts can decay, too. Pulleys and drive belts.

I have no idea about parts or service, but it is probably available to the person with deep pockets. I found a site which has a selection of serviced R-2-R and will work on your machine.

Want a DBX compressor / expander? Pretty much the DBX version of an external Dolby. I don't know if it works, but free is free!

Hello Poprhetor,

Congrats :-) Community theatre...very hip. It might be a fun project to restore your R2R as well as a genuine challenge. Either way, I think you'll benefit and enjoy the journey.

Thanks for the responses, guys. I'll be chewing my lip for awhile on this one. I don't have anything to test it with yet. I guess that's step two. We'll see how it goes.
I would open up the back and try to get some oil on anything in there that moves, especially capstans and such. Blow out all the dust, clean whatever contacts and surfaces you can. Then try out a tape.

I was playing my old Teac 2340SX this past weekend. What a nice, natural, analogue sound, even though there is tape hiss at the top end. Oh well, you can't have everything.