As j03yYunG said it depends on what you want to grow. But most plants benefit somewhat from high CEC substrates, even if not heavy root feeders. The main 'gimmick' is the high CEC, N and other fertilizers stored in ADA. These are not stored in sand. Topsoil is somewhat similar but not as clean to use nor as standardized leading to variable results.
Bottom line: I would not buy ADA AS if I had to sacrifice a good light, water circulation or CO2. However ADA AS (or similar like Tropica Plantgrowth substrate) would be part of my perfect aquarium
Some things I noticed when using ADA Aquasoil Amazonia vs sand.
1. Ease of scaping: It does hold better if stacked behind stones or wood. On its own it will flatten rather quick. It has more give than sand(you can compress it or push it down) so planting with fingers is rather difficult. Sizewise only, it is easier to plant HC in sand than in the normal ADA Aquasoil. That said it can be done if clumps are big enough to begin with (see my journal)
2. ADA AS is ligher than gravel or sand..you need to anchor plants well.
3. First few days with ADA AS you will have high ammonia (recommend wc). But it is rich from the start and for a long time. Sand in the first days raises Si levles and is poor in all, in the longer term it might go anaerobic.
4. ADA AS is a good place for all the plants to root in. If water column dosing is good all the time I don't think most plants will grow alot better. But the help in ADA AS comes in supplementing the plants requirements when there are not enough in the water column
5. ADA AS has ''amazing''
buffering capacity. It was able to reduce my KH from 14 to 7 for a long time. It is because of this that ADA AS is preffered among shrimp keepers.
6. In terms of disturbing any substrate it will release ammonia and other things in the water. If a major rescape is done remove all fauna from the aquarium, change the water afterwards and play...
If it is worth anything for you, Tom Barr recomends this from all the ADA products.