In retrospect TEAC decks (same as TASCAM) are not really held with much regard, but they don't sound THAT bad. I guess that they rank somewhere below an Otari which doesn't sound as good as an MCI which doesn't sound as good as an early Ampex or as accurate and pristien as a Studer.
I actually think that the heads on TEAC/TASCAM stuff was the weak link.
They all seem to have the big low end bump.
I had a TASCAM model 52 that I prefered over my Ampex AG440 in the mid eighties.
In hindsight it might have just been newer!
Either way, I switched to mixing to a SONY PCM701
and a SONY Beta deck in about 1987.
DATs followed and it wasn't until 1990 when I scored an Ampex 102 that I went back to mixing onto an analog deck.
TEAC/TASCAM stuff just doesn't give the great saturated tape sound that Ampex and other decks do. They just lack the "magic." Still, if you didn't tell anyone they probebly couldn't tell the difference today!
I would be hesitant to mix to that deck, though.
If you get the deck you DEFINITELY need to buy and alignment tape and calibrate it.
Analog tape can sound pretty bad without alignment.
Oh yeah... I just remeber why TEAC stuff is so un-popular....
It is a BITCH to align them!
The alignment controls are hard to get to and the whole alignment procedure is a bit odd compared to most other decks.
It's like they figured that people wouldn't align the decks and the whole alignment process was the domain of a repair tech.
If it's cheap (which it ought to be!) buy it for fun.
You should pay the same for the deck as the price of an alignment tape!
Also, make sure that EVERYTHING is in good shape because parts will not be plentiful and they are definitely not cheap!
I just last week offered $75 for a TASCAM 3440 only because I have some twenty year old tapes I'd like to transfer.
That's all I'd pay for it, too.
I'd transfer about twelve cuts from 1/4" 4 track tapes I recorded in the early '80s and then I'd want to sell it.
I just belive pretty heavily in calibration.
It was pretty much part of the "deal" with analog unless you were an amatuer.
The sound of an analog deck won't really "sparkle" until it is aligned.
Without paying some attention to the deck you might end up with about the same result as using a decent cassette deck.