No doubt there has been quite the fan base of the Bondi 2026 compressor, and it is a compressor that had been on my list to test and review. However, it has been discontinued for a while. But now we have a brand-new offering from Bondi called the Squish As Compressor which is really quite the retooling of their former compressor.
While the Bondi 2026 compressor offered more controls the new Squish As seems to be going more for simplicity and targeting users looking for a transparent out of the way "always on" device.
It is, in many ways, a massive movement from the former with different controls, a real nice multi-LED gain reduction meter and automatically controlled attack and release.
The Squish As is a Blackmer Voltage Controlled Amplifier (VCA) compressor type with True RMS Detector.
Let's dive in to all that is the Squish As.
There are 5 dials on the face of the pedal, one foot switch, a white LED that illuminates when the pedal is activated and a 6 LED gain reduction meter.
Let's start with the Ratio control. Rotate clockwise for higher ratios ranging from 1:1 (basically no compression) to lots of squish. Based on the included instruction card, a ratio of 3:1 can be dialed in at approximately 10:00 on the dial, 4:1 at noon, and 5:1 around the 1:00 position. 9:1 can be dialed in around the 3:00 position and then a lot of squish between 3:00 and max clockwise. The Sensitivity control should be thought of as a threshold function and ranges from -6.3Bu and -46.3dBu. Rotate the dial more clockwise to lower the threshold at which compression kicks in. There is plenty of range here for precise control over the over/under point where compression begins. The range covers whatever you might throw at whether that be guitar or bass with a low B string.
Post compression, use the Output control to manipulate the output volume of the pedal. Like any compressor, as you dial in more compression you will want to compensate for lost volume with the Output control. According to the included instruction card the amount of gain on tap ranges from -20db to +20db which should be plenty for most any use case. It is important to note that the output control does not affect the dry signal.
Having used and reviewed many compressors over the years I have come to really appreciate parallel compression and the inclusion of parallel compression functionality in the Squish As is appreciated. With the dial rotated all the way clockwise you are essentially hearing 100% compressed signal. Rotated all the way counterclockwise is basically no compressed signal and only your dry tone coming through. How it is implemented here is versatile and certainly very useful. You can easily dial in more squish but blend dry signal to maintain that punch and dynamic feel you sometimes lose with aggressive compression. It is highly interactive, so you just need to play around with it until you love what you hear. No doubt you'll find your sweet spot. I also appreciate compression devices that offer a simple tone control because it can nicely restore some highs or add a little of that sparkle back that can be lost with compression. That can be equally important for guitarists or bassists. The implementation here is the tone affects the compressed signal only and is a tilt style EQ with a center point of 900hz. This is one of the better implementations in my opinion. There will be those who might discount the Squish As out of the gate due to it lacking Attack and Release controls. I get that but I must say the auto manipulation works very well here. Attack is program dependent with it responding to the players style and input. In other words, with more squish comes faster attack. The included instruction card provides the following measurements: -3db = 42mS -6db = 20mS - 10dB = 15mS
-20dB = 5mS
Think of it like this. The harder you play, the faster the attack.
The auto Release will always be slow relative to the Attack with a fixed rate of 8mS/db. The included instruction card suggests some useful rules of thumb for the release are: 3dB = 24mS
6dB = 48mS
10db = 80mS
20db = 16mS
I do not feel like you are really sacrificing a whole lot without the manual control of attack and release here.
Many compressor users appreciate devices with some form of gain reduction meter and the Squish As doesn't disappoint. The implementation here includes 6 LED's with green, yellow and red colors providing a useful indication of what is happening. It is highly responsive and far more useful than single LED implementations found on other pedals. The footswitch is the soft-touch type (quieter) and is true bypass. The Bondi Squish As is a transparent compressor that really does not add color to your signal. Despite not having controls like Attack and Release it is quite versatile and I would argue, easier to use. Often, that's what is most important anyway. It's hard to make it sound bad. If you want subtle compression, it is there. If you want squish, no problem. And then with the inclusion of parallel compression you really have anywhere in between. Because of the parallel compression it makes for a great compressor for bassists using 5 string basses with a low B to maintain more of the lows. And then dial in a little sparkle up top with the tone control. So nice.
The Squish As makes a wonderful pedalboard compressor that you would leave always on.
On the other hand, it has versatility that other compressors lack. It will preserve your tone while making everything just feel better and sound, well, more elevated. While it is a transparent compressor it is not sterile sounding. It is super quiet. Definitely one of the quietest compressors I have ever encountered.
I experienced no issue with input distortion so I would think the Squish As should be able to handle pretty much anything you might plug into it.
If you are new to compression, I would recommend the Squish As because of how easy it is to use, the inclusion of the useful gain reduction meter and the fact that you are getting a quality device that will serve you well. The experienced compressor user will find there to be no skimping with this one and serving as the only compressor you might ever need. Playing through it just feels better and sounds better.
If you have been looking at compressors from the likes of Keely, Becos or Empress, be sure to include the Bondi Squish As in your quest. If you want a hyper precise VCA style compressor the Bondi Squish As is one to consider. If you want a compressor that feels natural and transparent the Bondi Squish As should be high on your list. Compressors like the Cali76 devices are great if you want more "heft". The recently reviewed Walrus Mira would be an example of an optical type of compressor that is similar in terms of versatility but more squishy at all settings.
The Squish As it great at adding focus to your tone.
It is wonderfully transparent and even keeled. On the other hand, the tone control allows you to move past the transparency with more presence and shimmer up top.
It is obviously a quality device. It feels well-made and the knobs turn with precision and solid feel. Input and output jacks are top mounted as is the power input.
It is a really nice compressor. I think the folks at Bondi did a great job with the Squish As. Definitely check it out. I quite like this one.
• Transparency with presence — useful for virtually anything you might throw at it
• 6 LED gain reduction meter
• Always-on type compressor
• Some may say the lack of Attack and Release controls
• Possibly not colorful enough for some (but that's not what the goal is here)