So, I'd read that it had good low end and delivered great distortion and all that stuff, but never got a chance to actually try it out before purchasing so I just bought it online @ MusiciansFriend, knowing I could return it if I was unsatisfied, which I was. I ran my ESP MV-200 with Duncan pickups to the SansAmp, and tried my effects processors, G-Major and Digitech 256XL (Digitech = piece of crap) in the effects loop and afterwards in serial, not happy with the end result. Well, initially I just worked on the SansAmp by itself, running it to my Mesa 2:100 and then to 2 Marshall 1960B cabs, and just couldn't get the right tone. I wanted a very deep, distorted, almost thunder of a tone, with lots of good delay a reverb (think Stef Carpenter's tone on White Pony, very similar to that). All of the levels seemed good, and I even tried running it through a 31 band EQ that I had, but it just always seemed that whatever my end result was, whether it was heavy distortion or clean and bright, it just sounded like it was all coming from behind a wall. None of it stood out, none of the tone was powerful... no balls! So, after working with it for and estimated accumulation of about 20 hours, I sent it back, and got a Mesa Formula preamp, which has more energy and fortitude than anything I've heard, and I had up and running with the right tone in 15 minutes.
Never got to test it's reliability really, but I did have alittle trouble starting like the 3rd day I had it. This was no doubt due to the fact that I had it in my jam space, which that particular day was about 0 degrees, so it doesn't seem to like the cold.
Plain and simple reason why I ditched this unit: I couldn't get the right tone out of it. Now maybe if I toyed with it for months and supplemented it with lots of other pieces of equipment, maybe it could have sounded good. But, I'm not about to do that, so instead I got a Mesa Formula, used for $300, that took me 15 minutes to get in tone heaven.