Video: The Best-Selling Pedals of 2019

Every December here on Reverb, we present a series of posts listing out the best-selling gear of the year across different categories. This season, we're kicking things off with pedals—and will follow up with posts about synths, amps, and microphones in the coming days, along with some other year-end (and decade-end) retrospectives.

Pedals are usually one of the more dynamic pockets of the gear market, owing to the combination of an entrenched culture of new-release hype, the frequent buying-and-selling habits of the pedalheads of the world, and the relatively low cost of pedals compared to, say, amps and guitars.

While the overall best-selling pedal list tends to stay somewhat similar year-to-year, pedal brands haven't backed away from the dizzying pace of new designs, which makes for a best-selling new release list that reflects the year's latest trends and en vogue sonic flavors. You can watch Andy Martin play the top-five best-selling new pedals of 2019 in our video above.

Take a look below for this year's rankings, followed by the top five best-selling pedals from five different effects categories. And by the way, if you want to compare with previous years, you can see the best-selling pedals of 2018, 2017, and 2016 through these links.

Best-Selling Pedals of 2019

The main headline here is that Oklahoma's own Walrus Audio released the most popular new pedal on Reverb for the second year in a row, following the first-seed Fathom Reverb of 2018. This repeat, I believe, makes them the Tom Hanks of Tone—and if they're able to muster a three-peat in 2020, we'll upgrade them to the Jordan-era Chicago Bulls of Tone. As evidenced by their Instagram account, Walrus has a massive following, and, apart from making cool pedals, they've clearly been able to cultivate a committed fanbase that keeps buying their new stuff.

As far as larger trends, one of the big themes in pedals over the past few years has been the continued confluence of guitar and synth tech, as epitomized by brands like Meris. This year saw a noticeable wave of synth pedals—that is, pedals designed to make a guitar sound like a synth—coming out of NAMM, and three of those models rank in the top 15 bestsellers.

It's worth noting that in the new column list, obviously enough, pedals released later in the year don't have as much time to rack up sales as those that came out during the NAMM rush around January. The MXR M303 Clone Looper, for instance, is selling quite well, but only just came out, so it did not make the new release list.

As far as the overall bestseller list, it's mostly stocked with the same familiar favorites like the TC Electronic Ditto Looper and Fulltone OCD. Some notable models from previous years that dropped out of the rankings in 2019 include the SP Compressor and EP Booster from Xotic, as well as some of the recent, era-specific Big Muff Reissues from Electro-Harmonix. As you can see below, those continue to rank in top slots when honing in on just fuzz pedals.

A note on the data here: the rankings above represent total number of orders on Reverb, and we are indeed combining all sales across both new and used stock. Cynically, one could say the inclusion of used inventory means this list is more a reflection of pedals people don't want anymore. But for every seller here there's a buyer, and more to the point, a look at the numbers isolated to just new and used shows generally the same results. Additionally, the sales reflected in the new release column are largely for brand-new inventory.

One final note on the bestseller list: We did not include some exclusive-to-Reverb releases in the rankings such as the Chase Bliss Audio / Cooper FX Limited Edition Generation Loss and the EarthQuaker Devices Sunn O))) Life Pedal, as including pedals that could only be purchased through Reverb could obscure the larger market picture. Expect to find more exciting Reverb exclusives in 2020.

Best-Selling Pedals of 2019 by Category

Check out the 2019 rankings for synths and drum machines, amps, and microphones behind these links.

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