Reel to reel tape recorder advice needed
I hope I'm posting this in the right forum. I'm thinking of getting a reel to reel tape machine to add another color to my studio. I don't want to spend a fortune, but I have a feeling it would be a great thing to have. My main uses for it would be to give some depth and body to soft synth tracks and drum loops etc, and possible to print complete mixes for extra vibe.
Does anyone have a few quick tips on what I should be looking for? I know 15ips will give a nice "medium-fi" color, but I don't know much about the different tape types. I saw an old mastering 2 track Studer that looked like it could do the trick, but there are also a lot of 8 channel 1/2 inch machines. I know the wider the tape, the better the fidelity, but is there a way to utilize an 8 track 1/2" to record only 2 channels using the whole 1/2"? Is that something that's configurable on those machines? Also I saw some tapes that said 7", but that didn't make sense to me, unless the 7" refers to the actual diameter of the reel?
Thanks in advance for the help!