i'm going to respectfully disagree with roberto
tape has a full and long history in recorded music - there is no way that everything released before - oh, let's say 1984 - is polluted with tape hiss, and everything before that time was recorded on tape - and much of it also predates dbx or even dolby.
15 ips (inches per second), quarter inch half or full track machines will give you results that rival much of the digital world. USrecording, sells much of it's stock to studios who put their masters through one last analog tape stage to bring out a fatness to the sound (their description, not mine).
It is interesting to note, that on the back of the Soundtrack for "The Sting" there is a picture of Marvin Hamlish with his piano and a Teac 3340S reel2reel. Not an explicit advertisement for Teac, but a picture of the musician and the tools he uses to make the music we enjoy.
most home use machines and tapes ran at 7 1/2 ips, and while not good enough to act as a master for dubbing, can and does give excellent results on machines such as the Pioneer 707, or machines from Sansui, Sony, Akai or others.
for many audiophiles, the two track pre-records from the 50's and 60's are the gold standard for pressings, and many people claim that the quad recordings of the groups such as the Moody Blues or Pink Floyd best capture the original intent of the musicians/producers.
but all that aside
the GX-280D-SS is a great little machine, many were sold and they are often on ebay. They do have a known failure (see slbender's pages for details) but that aside, they make a great little 4-channel. I was looking for one a while back, but decided eventually to get a GX-270D-ss to avoid the known issue of the 280 series.
indicates that it has the "famous" akai glass heads. effectively indestructible from the normal wear of tape running across them.
indicates a 4 channel machine (as do the 4 VU meters
) allowing you to play discrete quad tapes such as the Moodies, or Floyd or even Elvis Live from Hawaii (viewed by many as his greatest recorded concert and incidentally intended to be released as a quad recording).
My big concern is that the machine has sat idle for 9 years. I have an akai 400D that sat idle for a similar time and it died after i started using it - the switches got noisy and the internals (belts and so on) got gooey.
you will greatly increase the price you can get for the 280 if you can make sure that it runs, or have it given a once over by a tech.
on the matter of the cassette deck, I concur with Roberto. bad media, bad medium, just bad bad bad