The Best-Selling Pedals of 2020

Welcome to the first post in our yearly review of best-selling gear on Reverb. This year, we’re kicking things off with a look at the pedal market in 2020 and will follow up through the rest of the week with posts covering synths and drum machines, microphones, and amplifiers.

Needless to say, 2020 was an unprecedented year in many respects with lockdowns and social distancing becoming the new normal for much of the world. The guitar market was certainly not insulated from these shifts, and as has been reported elsewhere, this year saw a number of newer players take up the guitar as a hobby. This trend seems to have played out into the pedal arena as well, with heightened sales of beginner-friendly gear such as the top-ranking TC Electronic Ditto Looper and Boss DS-1.

At the same time, we also saw a number of more specialized and higher-end pedals sell quite strongly, perhaps reflecting more seasoned players spending more time with their sound-crafting endeavors and thus seeking new tools to find new sonic spaces to explore. If there's any constant, it's that, just as in past years, there are a lot of really cool pedals out there, with more hitting the scene every month.

Take a look below for this year's rankings, starting with the overall best-selling list side-by-side with the best-selling new releases of the year. If you'd like to compare with previous years' rankings, you can see the best-selling pedals of 2019, 2018, and 2017 through these links.

Check out more best-selling category lists from 2020: Best-Selling Microphones, Best-Selling Synths and Drum Machines.

Best-Selling Pedals of 2020

The rankings above are based on total number of orders on Reverb for the year. The overall list of best-sellers, which is mostly tried-and-true mainstays, reflects all sales inclusive of both new and used gear. Conversely, the rankings for the new releases are just for brand-new sales to try to highlight the models' initial popularity. This is different from last year's list, in which we included used sales in both columns.

Speaking of new releases, we've also elected to filter out a few pedals that launched exclusively on Reverb from this list, which include the Jackson Audio Golden Boy and "The Pedal Movie" exclusive Bliss Factory and Time Shadows.

As always with these sorts of posts, there are clearly some areas where the market on Reverb likely stands out from the pedal market more broadly. For instance, the preponderance of some higher-end models among the new release list—such as the Strymon NightSky and Chase Bliss Automatone—has a lot to do available inventory. While these sorts of pedal may not always be available everywhere, the wide range of specialist dealers who operate on Reverb means that most brands in the boutique pedal space are usually well represented.

This sort of dynamic is magnified in the case of something like the ninth-ranking Hologram Microcosm. Hologram Electronics itself sells this pedals directly through a Reverb shop, and if that's how people are buying this fantastically innovative device, that concentration of sales reflects in these rankings.

As has been the case in past years, pedals that are released earlier in the year around NAMM obviously get a bit of a leg up compared to newer releases that don't have as much time to rack up sales. A good example of that this year would be the JHS 3 Series, which were released in October. Had these pedals come out back in January, they likely would all rank in the top-selling new release column.

Turning to the overall best-selling list, some shifts this year include both the Strymon Timeline and BigSky leaving the rankings, possibly as a reflection of buyers opting for the company's newer releases like the NightSky or Volante. The EarthQuaker Devices Plumes shot up to the seventh spot on the list while Electro-Harmonix Soul Food left the top 15 for the first time since its introduction.

Some might be perplexed by the lack of the iconic Dunlop Cry Baby Wah or EHX Big Muff on this list. In both cases (and lots of others) this is due to the fact that sales for these pedals are spread out across dozens of different individual models currently produced by each company. Were they taken in aggregate, both would probably ranking in the top ten.

Best-Selling Pedal Brands of 2020 on Reverb

And in closing, we're going to show a quick snap shot of the 2020 pedal market on Reverb by brand. These graphs represent the relative share of the top 15 makes in each category.

Rank Brand by Total Orders Average Used Price USD
1 Boss $135.62
2 Electro-Harmonix $129.07
3 TC Electronic $100.98
4 MXR $104.90
5 JHS $169.72
6 EarthQuaker Devices $169.01
7 DigiTech $131.32
8 Keeley $153.13
9 Strymon $313.60
10 Walrus Audio $176.80
11 Dunlop $107.98
12 Ibanez $137.15
13 Line 6 $404.96
14 Mooer $93.10
15 Fulltone $145.97
16 Wampler $152.36
17 DOD $96.92
18 Behringer $58.70
19 Chase Bliss$359.33
20 Xotic$112.24

By the way, if you love pedals, be sure to watch the trailer for our forthcoming documentary, "The Pedal Movie."

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