“A harmonious blend of legendary, vintage Uni-Vibe textures and innovative, modern prowess”: SolidGoldFX puts Hendrix and Pink Floyd psych tones on tap with the Aurras Optical Vibraphase

Here is a pedalboard option for tonehounds with tastes that skew towards the psychedelic – it’s the Aurras Optical Vibraphase from SolidGoldFX, it’s an asymmetric 2-stage optical phaser pedal, and it has a range of heady modulated sounds, from vibrato to chewy Uni-Vibe, and all in between.

Taking its name from the goddess of sound, and a descendent of SolidGoldFX’s Athena, the Aurras passes your electric guitar’s signal through a 100 per cent analogue pathway, applying dual LFO’s to your signal via a pair of independent opto-isolators. 

Which is to say that this circuit is designed to keep the signal as clean as possible, and to give guitar players ample control over their tone, with a relatively comprehensive set of onboard controls – including tap tempo and speed ramping – and the option to hook up an external expression pedal for further control.

SolidGoldFX Aurras Optical Vibraphase

(Image credit: SolidGoldFX)

Some of the controls will be familiar. There is a Level control for overall output volume, Speed sets the rate of the effect, Depth the depth of the LFO and ergo how intense it is going to sound, while Dry Mix adjusts the mix between your guitar and the processed signal.

But what makes the Aurras different to your common or garden phaser pedal is that here we have two LFOs, both independent of each other and powered by microprocessor, doing the work. 

This allows you to get deeper with the modulation, particularly once you access the Frequency Offset feature. That slows down the second LFO and brings the Offset Adj dial into play, allowing you to adjust the asymmetry between the two LFOs and explore different rhythmic patterns in the modulation.

You can set the rate of the LFO via the tap-tempo switch, or ramp up the speed to double the original LFO rate by holding down the tap-tempo switch, and if you really want to get nuts with this you can hold down the tap-tempo until the rate doubles, then press and hold it down again to double it once more.

The bypass footswitch performs a similar track but with the opposite effect; holding it down will ramp down the the rate of the LFO, cutting it in half, and then half again if that is – literally – your speed. Some of these sounds are crazy. Inviting an expression pedal to the party can bring on some pseudo filter-cum-wah-pedal sounds. But you can also dial in a more conventional phase-shifting sound, with both LFOs working in unison. 

SolidGoldFX has kitted the Aurras out with soft-relay switches. Jacks are found on the top of the pedal. The pedal is true bypass and takes 9V DC from a pedalboard power supply. Priced £189 / $209, the Aurras Optical Vibraphase is available now. See SolidGoldFX for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.