I don’t have experience on the General, but I do have some on the woodmaster, which was pretty decent. Also a lot on the performax, same as yours. I solved, to my satisfaction, the two problems you mention, by the following: for the conveyor, I cut down the width of the conveyor belt by about 1 ½” on each side. I can’t say I was able to get the tracking perfect, but with the additional time I got between adjustments, it was no longer a problem. I put a few marks on the sheet metal to show the edge of the paper where it was balanced on both sides, when it went past the first mark I would just tighten the nut ¼ turn to offset that, and so on if more change was needed, but it never would get so far as to be a problem. For the adjustment of the arm, Performax sells, or sold, a small metal plate that you could put on the outside of the arm, (the open end) that allowed you to adjust the rollers up or down, (small amounts, but pretty accurately. This was, for some reason, an after market piece, not included with the machine, but it did the trick.
I also am in the market for a new machine, and as I said, tried out other drum sanders. But my problem with the drums was that they were too slow on hard woods, tended to streak and load sandpaper if you pushed it just a bit too fast, and of course, changing paper between grits takes time. Dust collection is not great either, but on some of the bigger drums, seems to be better. For this reason I researched the wide belt sanders too. A lot of folks disparage the drums, sanding the wide belts kick ass. (course then there are the stroke sander folks too) but I think the drums are very good, especially on finishing, just that I want more speed. I have finally settled on one of the open ended wide belts, (Sunhill or one of the copies) that are offered. I couldn’t run a bigger machine, as I don’t have the power to run 10 hp plus dust collection. I was a bit curious about the small Steel city wide belt, might have been a good alternative to the performax, but it doesn’t have belt tracking etc. A lot lighter machine. While I am leery about the open ended design, I talked to some owners of the machines, (they all will give you names of folks that have their machines) and they all claimed no problem. I mostly run narrower stock thru, pre-sanding stock before I start cutting and machine to parts. The 15” capacity is ok. Especially as you seem to be able to run pretty close to the edges, (unlike with the Performax, I never had great luck getting too close to the column side of the machine. Sandpaper too often balled up there, even with the spring loaded gadget.
And if I really have wide panels that need sanding, I can always take them to a local guy that will do those for me on his big wide belt.
Hope you are successful in getting feedback here on the General, I’ll be interested too.