Seeking Teac A 5500 R2R History-Info-Advice

Any other Teac A 5500 owners out there? Help me understand where this machine fits into the Teac world. I'm am a newbie and a recording engineer friend suggested I start with a Teac 3300 but the A 5500's Dolby and reverse feature made me bite on this unit. I'm hoping it doesn't bite back.

I wanted to experience the thrill of reel to reel and the convenience of playing long uninterrupted mixes of favorite vinyl cuts. Truthfully, this is a late adult indulgence having grown up seeing reel to reels since the late 1960's and now wanting to mildly indulge my long time curiousity.

I'm willing to pay a moderate ($250) price to have this machine serviced as it's been idle for many years. Seller sayes he replaced the machine's belt, cleaned-demag the heads and says it appears to be functioning before he put it on sale - arriving in a week.

Any info about this unit so I know what I have and can reasonably expect from the reel to reel format will be greatly appreciated. Yes, I've read many comments about the shortcomings of this format but I like to drive 1970's cars too. Sometimes "retro cool" is a worthwhile endeavor unto itself.

Life is short: drugs, sex, vinyl, and now reel to reel.