String Review: Aurora Coated Colored Guitar Strings (9-42)

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by TemjinStrife, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. TemjinStrife

    TemjinStrife Power Metal Cellist

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    Dec 18, 2007
    Manhattan, NY
    One day, a few months back, found an ad for Aurora colored strings (Strings By Aurora - The Brightest Colors you've ever heard. Color Coated Guitar Strings) on the back of one of my guitar magazines. Intrigued, I checked out their website and ordered a set of bright green 9-42 strings and a blue bass 4-string set to see how they held up; after all, with a price point similar to Elixirs (my string of choice) at the guitar end and slightly cheaper at the bass end, I figured it'd be worth a shot. Plus, I'd get to bling up a guitar!

    I got an envelope from Aurora about a week later with my guitar set, but no news on the bass set. I called the number and left a message, but got no response. About a week later, I sent them another email, and got a very fast response letting me know that the bass set had in fact been out of stock, and that they were now in stock and would be sending them over now. Great! They arrived about a week later.

    Although, I felt a little worried already, as I'm not sure I would have actually gotten my bass strings had I not sent them a note! Since I recently restrung my bass with Elixirs for a new show and haven't swapped them for the Auroras yet, this review will be solely about the guitar set I received.

    I tossed them on my Jackson SLSMG right before I took it to the Hootnanny of Doom at Kevan's, so I didn't have much chance to sit down with them beforehand. The first thing I noted was how bright and vibrant the color was! It was really bright and badass looking.

    However, the second thing I noticed was that they were really really short. As in, the D string barely reached the far tuner on the SLSMG's headstock... and this was a guitar with a 3+3 tuner configuration! It was enough to get it strung up, but I wouldn't put these on any long-scale instruments!

    I didn't get a chance to check it, but I know for a fact that, if all their strings are at this length normally, I could never get a 7-string set for my Agile Septor 727, as with the string-thru body, 27" scale, and reverse headstock I needed a LOT of string to get everything looped on the low B, E, and A strings. This is too bad, since they'll do a custom color set for you, and I was considering ordering a full rainbow set for my 7 if these all worked out... but alas, it doesn't look like it'll work.

    After playing them for a bit at Kevan's, I noticed that the G string really didn't want to stay in tune. Like, at all. One bend and it would be out, and it became extremely sensitive to the tiniest movement of the tuning keys (and these are 18:1 geared machines, so its NOT the tuners!). Second thing I noticed was that, while the plain strings were nice and snappy and clear, the wound strings sounded acoustically 'dead' and muffled.

    Comparing them to Elixirs, who, even with the Polyweb (thick-coated) strings sound bright and snappy, was just night and day. Even through the SLSMG's EMGs and into Kevan's Vetta II and my POD, I noticed a definite difference. Sustain was lower, clarity was lost, and they were much less stable tuning-wise than my Elixirs.

    And, after a few minutes of playing (very lightly, I might add; I don't smash this SLSMG hard, especially not with light strings on it, as it's a very 'delicate' and 'composed'-feeling guitar) the coating began to flake off around my picking area, leaving unsightly silvery spots in amongst the pretty greenness.

    String life seems to be good, as they still sound pretty much the same after about a month and a half. However, that is probably at least partially because the 'dead' sound and feel is so pervasive that I really haven't played the guitar much! And this is one of my favorite guitars in terms of playability, so that's saying something.

    So, to sum it all up (out of 5 :hbang:s)
    1.)Customer Satisfaction with Company:
    3 out of 5 :hbang::hbang::hbang:
    --Good ship time and fast response to inquiry, but didn't follow up with me via phone, and I don't know whether or not I'd have ever gotten my backordered strings if I hadn't emailed!
    --Guitar strings are slightly more expensive than Elixirs, and shipping costs need to be factored in as well.

    5 out of 5 :hbang::hbang::hbang::hbang::hbang:
    --Beautiful, bright colors. Very distinctive looking. Custom color sets available too!

    3.)Manufacturing Quality
    2 out of 5 :hbang::hbang:
    --Very short string lengths, restricting overall utility. These won't work on some guitars with a) long scale length b) string-thru-body c) inline headstocks.
    --Very limited set of gauges; heaviest available is a 52 in their 7 string set!
    --Coating disappears quickly, even under light use
    --G string tuning issues

    4.)String Life
    4 out of 5 :hbang::hbang::hbang::hbang:
    --Consistent tone, feel, and response after ~2 months or so. Coating disappears quickly though.

    2 out of 5 :hbang::hbang:
    --Plain strings sound alright, but wound strings are very 'dead' and 'muffled' sounding, with little sustain or clarity.
    --Sound better than dead, rusty strings, and sound is consistent for a long period of time; but Elixirs blow them away in this department! This is the real killer for me.

    Overall, I'd have to give these 2 out of 5. They look cool for a while, but this does little to outweigh the tonal negatives, extra cost, and short physical length compared to Elixirs. Can't say I recommend them highly.

    I will review the bass strings once the ones on my gigging bass go dead. Hopefully they are more impressive.
  2. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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    Dec 8, 2008
    Northeast Ohio
    I just dont think you can put coatings like that on strings and not have it effect playability. An old guitarist had a black coated set of what I think were Elixirs and I thought they were garbage. Played like nylon.

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