Featured Builder – Bondi Effects
Bondi has a special place in the hearts of Australians. Whether it is your local haunt, or the beach that you avoid due to it being ‘too popular’ that little cove holds a special part of Australia within it’s rocky walls. So it is with Bondi Effects, holding a special place on the pedalboards of guitarists, also surrounded by rock. This week we are speaking to Anna and Jon Ashley from Bondi Effects for the run down on them, their company and what we should expect from them in the coming months.
So, what was the inspiration behind Bondi Effects, I understand that you both played for a while before starting the company, can you tell me a bit more about that?
Yeah, we played in a band together for several years before starting Bondi Effects. During that time, Jon began tinkering with circuitry and creating the pedals that we wish we had for our own rigs.
The Sick As came about in 2013 from noticing that while the market was flooded with modified Tubescreamers, the Klon was a really revered pedal that was being cloned, but almost never modified- so Jon decided to give it a crack. At the time we were broke uni students with full-time jobs building pedals in any free moment we got. We met some great people who believed in the Sick As and word got out quickly. We feel lucky to both be doing what we love all day every day now. Since then, we’ve released two more pedals and have recently moved back to Australia from the US.
Besides gear and guitar, what are some of your passions?
Since our move back to Sydney, the beach is everything- we’re pretty happy to spend all of our free time there. We listen to a lot of stand up comedy while we work, and we’ve watched every comedy on Netflix twice. We’ve found the Sydney music scene to be really good, so there is always a good show to see.
In terms of playing, how much do you do now? What are your current guitar rig(s) that are a go to and what style of music do you enjoy playing?
Since building pedals full time, we’ve found that we play a lot less, but it’s something we’re trying to get back into for sure. Jon has been really into old country music recently and we’ve been listening to a lot of Buddie Emmons and Emmy Lou Harris, so his favourite rig right now is his Carter Starter pedal steel.
What can we expect from Bondi Effects in 2017?
We have just released our 2026 Compressor! The 2026 is a full featured, high performance Blackmer® VCA powered compressor/limiter. You can read more about the 2026 Compressor here. We spent the last year setting up shop in Australia, and we’re excited to spend this year working on new ideas. We’ve got some good things in the works, but we’ll probably need to stay a bit mysterious about that for now. If you want to visit their store, Bondi Effects is now on Oxford St, Darlinghurst so drop in and check them out if you are in the area.
Here is the awesome Brett Kingman’s demo of the new Compressor
This pedal looks super cool and incorporates some really great features including a dynamic and manual mode which allows more tweaking. I’m definitely looking forward to checking out one of these pedals the next time that I am in the area of the store – or of one of Bondi’s stockists – Pedal Empire in Brisbane and Deluxe Guitars in Melbourne
Looking back on 2016, what are some of your favourite things to come out of it? Favourite album of the year? Favourite gear?
Our mates Gang of Youths came out with an EP called “Let Me Be Clear” that we have been listening to non-stop. As far as gear, the Tonal Recall by Chase Bliss and Caroline Meteore are both really cool pedals. The Meteore uses a Belton Brick, which I never thought of as a great component but Philippe makes it sound incredible.
And just to finish off, here are Gang of Youths