The Schoeps VSR 5 is an analog dual channel microphone preamplifier to be used in the recording studio. While mostly known for making microphones, Schoeps also has a pretty impressive line of microphone preamps that can be used with any microphones but for the best compatibility I would try out a Schoeps microphone through this. This is also a relatively new product, so I would imagine that it will take a little while for this to circulate around. As far as characteristics go, the mic peramp has the same make up for both of the channels, although I'm not clear on what the connections in the back are since the one that I used was already racked up and I had no need to check out what was back there. However, you've got to assume that it at least has XLR connections since it is a mic preamp. It is in rack mountable form and will take up two spaces in a traditional rack casing.
The configuration of the Schoeps VSR 5 is really quite simple. If you're familiar with the make up of microphone preamps, you'll be all set here as there isn't anything out of the norm. Each channel has a large knob for gain control, and series of buttons that control a variety of features and options like phantom power, polarity, and mute, as well as a low cut feature which can be set to either 40 Hz, 80 Hz, or 120 Hz. While you'll find a high pass (low cut) on a lot of mic preamps, rarely have I seen the option to cut at three different frequencies, so that feature definitely helps the VSR 5 to stand out a bit. In general operating this isn't tough or complicated, so I don't believe that you'll be needing the assistance of a manual.
In terms of sound quality, the Schoeps VSR 5 boasts an extreme amount of clarity. While perhaps not the thickest sounding mic pre in terms of sheer girth, it makes up for this with it's impressive attention to detail. It can absolutely be used for any application, as everything I've recorded with the VSR 5 sounds impeccable. I don't own one of these at home and have only used one in a professional studio with a limited amount of time, so I haven't yet had the chance to delve deep into the VSR 5 in terms of trying it for all different applications, but I have had great results recording vocals and acoustic guitar with the VSR 5 to date.
While certainly quite expensive, the Schoeps VSR 5 is a top tier microphone preamp that is designed for professionals and those looking for high quality sound regardless of what it will cost. There are definitley better bang for your buck deals out there, so don't look for one here, but if you can afford something like this I'd highly encourage you to do some thorough research to see what will work best for you. However, I really don't think you could go wrong with the Schoeps VSR 5 if you can afford it...