The 5211 is an amazing piece of gear. Pulling it out of the box, the unit feels solid with great components - all the dials and button feel solid and strong.
The sound of this pre (without the Silk feature) is amazingly clean and quiet. I've used it mostly on vocals and acoustic guitar so far and it's been great. Lire plus
Plug a Shure KSM 44a into this and you'll have one of the cleanest sounds possible.
Two of the best features on the the 5211 are the variable high pass filter, and Silk option. The high pass filter can be completely disengaged, or, push the button and cut the low end anywhere from 250hz down to 20hz - VERY handy feature. Once you engage the Silk feature, you can use the Texture knob to dial in how much silk you would like. - I reach for this every time track something new... Try it with 0 silk, to 100% silk and see which I like better and dial in from there. Tracking with a ribbon mic (using a Shure KSM 313) - the silk/texture options bring in a nice crisp top end without losing the warmth of the ribbon - awesome pre for ribbon mics.
I took it to a friends place and tried it on bass guitar, drum overheads, kick and snare - wow. And now he'll be ordering a 5211 as well.
Whether you're looking for a clean and neutral preamp, or something to impart character on your tracks - I highly recommend checking out the 5211 - without the silk, it's amazingly clean - want some character? Hit the silk button and dial in as you please.