First some background...
I have been playin for over 20 years and have gone through a huge amount of guitars, ampilifiers, effects, etc.
As preamps that I have owned to compare this to...
Matchless DirtBox, Mesa V-Twin, Budda Phatman, Rocktron Voodoo Valve, Marshall JMP-1, Sansamp PS-1, Lexicon MPX-G2, Line 6 Pod, Roland G100, Roland VG-8, H & K Cream Machine. I have also have had way too amps and effects to bother listing.
Now my setup is very simple, Ravens West PRS style Hollowbody, ADA MP-2, Epiphone Valve Jr.
I absolutely love all the tones I have been able to coax from this rack unit. I was expecting this to be somewhat noisy but it is exactly the opposite of that, in fact it eliminates the small amount of noise I get when plugged directly into the amp, and this is without any use of the ADA's noise gate, ever. I can run the distortion full out with out any need of the noise gate and when I stop playin, dead quiet. I have never experienced this from any of my pedals or amps when the gain is even slightly cranked much less full out saturation, incredible!
This preamp fits my Valve Jr. like a glove, I am able to get all manner of cleans, in betweens, and full out balls to the wall tone out this litlle beast. I love the effects that live within this box, the EQ works sonic wonders, the Wahs are great (I have always had problems finding a wah that I liked), Tremolo is fantastic, Compression works wonderfully, and the Chorus is the best I've owned.
I still can't believe that I have been playing with this setup for over a year and have not felt the need to even use delay or reverb. The tones coming out of my little amp have a 3 dimensional shimmer to them even with a completely dry setup.
My musical influences run the gamut, King Sunny Ade, Ali Farke Toure, Ry Cooder, James Grealy, Jimmy Page, Tom Morello, Billy Corgan, Charlie Hunter, Zappa, Brad Shepik, Shakti, Tupac, etc...
With this box I can nail most any tone shy of full out Fuzzed mayhem ala Grealy's tones in Big Brother and the Holding Company, for that stuff I need a bit more. If anyone knows the trick to that tone let me know.
I have to say that I have never held on to one piece of gear as long as this and I have no plans to ever part with this. I don't know if I may have got an exeptional unit or if most are this impressive. I do know that this has ended my search for a versatile box of tone.
I had this sitting in a closet for 6 months, had it fall off a table onto a cement floor, and like the Energiser Bunny it kept on tickin. I hope it never dies as ADA is no more.
There is a couple things I wish it had. I wish that I could bypass the preamp section and just use the effects into my amp. I wish the effect loop was located just after the preamp in leau of not being able to bypass the preamp. I wish ADA still existed.
I see this unit as a good match for all styles of music. I can get great clean jazz tones, exotic world music tones, breaking up blues tones, and thumping palm muted heavyness with eaqual ease. I have been reading reviews here since it hit the net and have NEVER been inclined to even consider writing a review before but this unit has blown me away so...