Disclaimer: Microshar supplied the G3 for the purposes of this review. I paid only import fees to Japan. It goes for: 380$ USD. You can find out more about it here.
I’m vegging in a Starbucks, fingers drumming an American-style cafe latte from an American-sized mug. Bruce Springsteen is rolling through my California-designed, China-made iPhone (doesn’t get more American than that).
On second thought, nothing is more American than the Microshar G3. And I’d treat it to no less in the penning of this review.
It is the proudest American-made device I’ve ever touched. Old Glorys fly colors all over its box and the box of its cable, the literature of both, and the indelible MADE IN USA, USA, or some combination of both, decorate some side, or other.
Microshar are proud to be American. And the G3, with its few rough edges, and nearly flawless interface, is hella red white and blue. It’s a smooth bit of aluminum. In ports line the back, out port lines the front. A three-stage gain sits on the caboose in between the USB port and analogue in. A bass booster in an analogue pentameter sits right next to the volume pot. Both sit in wells two millimeters ~2/8” deep. It’s a sturdy, well-machined device.
Then there’s the un-American: smoothly chamfered front edges, posh countersunk front plate bolts, the tiny typeface, and a rainbow-colored LED. These are not what pop into my brain when I think America. When I think America I think Texas Toast, dually trucks (make sure to growl the r), rolling coal, soft drinks you can baptize a baby in, and of course, Old Glory hanging from every flag post from Florida to Guam. The G3 does its part.
But it’s almost too daintily designed to be American. More Mini Cooper than it is Mustang. I’m down with that. The downsides to the G3’s being dainty are nearly negligible. One is that both USB and 3,5mm plugs cables hang out the back, making the dainty G3 tricky for in-pocket use. I don’t know about you, but I get the distinct feeling that American men don’t carry purses all that often. Japanese men do. And maybe that’s for whom the G3 was designed.
The pentameter knobs twist smoothly, and are balanced well enough. They neither grind the wells in which they sit, nor the wall behind them. They are pressure-fitted and grippy. They feel great, and aren’t easy to accidentally turn. The analogue ports sit in strong metal ports. The gain switch is a simple slider, labelled A, B, and C, with nary an explanation. C is the lowest of the three settings. Um… Well whatever, once you flip the alphabet around, using the G3 is a breeze.
And if you’re a portable listener, you will love that you can easily get 20 hours from a single charge. Microshar say you’ll get more than that. Being that I listen mostly to DACs through a computer, I keep on charging it whilst listening to Bruce Springsteen. Mea culpa.
Sound impressions after the jump: