Ray Gun FX – Aurora

Within this blog post I am going to review the Ray Gun FX Aurora LOFI delay/verb pedal. Its a sweet little thing with lots of potential, and a budget friendly price tag that will help those just starting out get some thicker sounds in their mix.

The Aurora is very basic, with only 4 controls to the front of it. The mix is self explanatory, it controls the amount of the effect that you have mixed into your dry singal. It can go from a subtle barely there thickener to an obvious dominating presence within your sound. The repeat and speed knobs control as their names would suggest the number of repeats and the speed of those repeats. The latter being turned down gives a convincing slap back for country twangy tones, and increasing both knobs to almost 10 gives a lush self oscillating verb/delay. The switch in the middle gives you the choice between short and long delay times. This is a nice touch on the V2 as it lets you use it more like a reverb on the shorter setting feeling more like a room reverb. You aren’t going to get any fancy algorithms like shimmer or reverse on the Aurora, but for £65 that is just fine. It is decidedly simple in both construction and use not that I’m complaining.

I find that the Aurora is best used as an always on thickener to your sound. I’ve let a little of a shorter delay creep into my mix and although its not immediately obvious that its there, its very noticeable when you turn it off. Its another one of those always on pedals. It’s good for both power chord rhythm, lead licks and ambient passes and in all honesty I’m finding it quite difficult not going and buying one right now.

Pretty much the only thing stopping me is that I already have a delay that I very much like, that does very similar things to the Aurora (albeit at a higher cost) with other modes that the Aurora doesn’t have. I am also wanting a shimmer reverb, so am putting off getting a reverb that doesn’t have this. If I had used the Aurora before I had decided that I wanted a shimmer or purchased the Digitech Obscura then I would probably have purchased an Aurora. Its a lot of fun for £65. I’m trying not to buy everything that I review.

The Aurora is housed in a very good quality box with top notch construction and PCBs. Especially when you consider that it is hand made and under £100. The sticker is a good touch, as it keeps the price down, but a powder coated and screen printed enclosure could have sealed the deal for me. A better quality finish to the outside might have persuaded me to part with some money more out of a desire for a shiny thing than an actual need for a delay pedal. Extra processes would have made the Aurora more expensive and less of a bargain than it is, that being said even at say £100 this is a fantastic quality pedal that is a lot of fun and worth trying out.

I only have 1 major gripe with the Aurora, and this could only affect me. The power socket is on the right hand side near the bottom of the pedal below the input socket. This is a pain when I try to put it into my board, as the power sockets are not right angled. I can’t really have one on my board in a neat fashion, although I could possible have it sideways along the top to counteract this. Also having looked inside the Aurora there could be room to put the jack socket on the top as with most pedals of this size, but this would mean messier wiring to the daughter board and possible changing the logo placement as the switches would have to move down slightly. If I am the only person who finds this a problem then it would not be worth changing a design, It’s just my opinion.

For me this small thing along with some features that I would like in other reverb pedals such as the Boss RV-6’s shimmer setting means that I won’t be buying one. I have had to have a good hard think about it though.

It is also worth mentioning that there is a dual foot switch version that I have had a brief look at, it is essentially the same pedal in a slightly larger enclosure with a hold button. This may interest some people, but I didn’t find myself using the hold button. If it interests you it might be worth the extra cost.

All in all a fantastic little stompbox. Go and try it out.

In Conclusion:

Pros –

  • Small footprint
  • Sounds fantastic – thicker sound
  • Top notch hand built construction

Cons –

  • Jack socket in an odd place.
  • Sticker is a slight let down, but is understandable at this price. Would love to see a screen printed version
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