Need some squish? The revered company’s new compressor combines flexibility with features.

Compression can be a touchy topic for guitarists, and for many, you either love it or hate it. Personally, I’m in the “always on” camp. Fender recently launched a new line of pedals that offer some intriguing design elements. One of these is The Bends—a cleverly designed comp that is out to keep the squish in check.

Once I’d plugged in, I was surprised at how modest even the more extreme settings sounded. In fact, The Bends never felt like it was offering a ridiculous amount of compression, which probably makes it a safe bet for those who don’t want to go full-on Lowell George. When testing comps, the first tone I typically chase is a warm, slightly overdriven Larry Carlton-inspired setting. “Room 335” anyone? The Bends did an admirable job of hitting all the bases that surround mid-level compressed tones.

I found the drive and recovery knobs most interesting. The former controls the amount of compression, and the latter adjusts how fast the signal returns to unity. The recovery knob was a joy because its response was so dependent on my guitar and amp. With P-90 pickups, I felt better with a quicker recovery. I suspect this was due to the pickups’ lower output, compared to humbuckers. Kudos to Fender for creating a value-packed compressor that doesn’t get in the way.

Test gear: Schroeder Chopper TL, Fender Modern Player Jaguar P-90, Gibson Les Paul Traditional, Two-Rock Bloomfield Drive, Fender ML212



Solid construction. The parallel compression feature is essential.

Not enough squish at the more extreme settings.


Fender The Bends Compressor


Ease of Use:



Great pedal giveaways keep coming during week #5 of Pedalmania! You could win gear from Carvin Audio, EHX, Gamechanger Audio, Hotone Audio, PRS, and Wren and Cuff!

Read MoreShow less

You could win 3 Red Panda Pedals and Gator Cases Pedalboard + Power supply courtesy of Kraft Music! Enter below before October 17, 2022.

Read MoreShow less

Day #2 is here with your shot at a great prize from Gator Cases. Enter below for your shot at a G-TOUR Large Pedal Board with Wheels!

Read MoreShow less