The Best-Selling Synths and Drum Machines of 2020

So far this week, we've posted rankings for the top-selling pedals and microphones on Reverb in 2020, and today we're turning our sights to the realm of synths and drum machines. Like these other gear categories, 2020 saw a major influx of beginner and other sorts of music makers into the gear market as lockdowns and social distancing gave people new time to explore the hobby. And after all, what better way to spend time at home than by plugging into a synth or groovebox and getting lost in sound for a little while?

Below you'll find the top-selling pieces of gear from a four different categories followed by some overall numbers on a brand basis. In all of these charts, we're going by cumulative sales on Reverb inclusive of both new and used gear. However, when breaking down to just new or just new, the rankings remain relative similar.


Best-Selling Synths By Total Number of Sales

Rank Model Average Used Price USD
1 Teenage Engineering OP-1 $1,091.53
2 Elektron Digitone $646.89
3 Korg Minilogue $421.62
4 Korg Volca FM $130.48
5 Korg MicroKORG $301.88
6 Korg Monologue $258.55
7 Moog Mother-32 $536.93
8 Korg Volca Keys $126.16
9 Arturia MicroFreak $270.81
10 Behringer Model D $250.41
11 Behringer TD-3 $131.35
12 Korg Minilogue XD $585.37
13 Behringer Neutron $264.80
14 Arturia Microbrute $219.37
15 Moog Subharmonicon $720.66

This year, the Teenage Engineering OP-1 maintained its reign as the top-selling synthesizer on Reverb. While there have been some points in the past few years where availability of this unit has been limited, 2020 saw robust sales for both new and used units, which makes sense given that in many ways, this multi-faceted device is the perfect socially distant music maker.

Some may wonder how this somewhat pricey device could possibly sell more than something like a Korg Minilogue and there are some important factors to keep in mind. For one, these rankings are, of course, limited to sales on Reverb and are probably different from the industry and gear market more broadly. If the OP-1 is most consistently available on Reverb and we claim a higher percentage of its total sales than other synths, that gives it a leg up over products where the global inventory is more widespread. Additionally, the OP-1 is a relatively unique piece of gear meaning that it's the only option for folks looking for something with its particular feature set (something that is perpetuated by its popularity with YouTubers like Andrew Huang). Comparatively, buyers looking for a basic subtractive synth like the Minilogue have a wealth of other options like the Behringer Model D, the Arturia Brute series, not to mention Korg's own variations like the Monologue and Minilogue XD. So while that buyer group may be spread out across a bunch of comparable products, the OP-1 stands on its own racking up more total sales.

As far as new releases, the Moog Subharmonicon sold extremely well upon its initial release, though the Behringer TD-3 may have that beat if it can be counted as a 2020 release (it was announced in 2019 though appears to not have started shipping until a little bit later).

Compared to the 2019 list, the Elektron Digitone shot up to the highest echelon of the list, reflecting strong sales for that brand overall. Behringer synths also sold well in 2020—though this is one area where the Reverb market is likely different from the synth market globally, as presumably many Behringer products are purchased as pre-orders from large retailers elsewhere on the internet.

The other major gear storyline for 2020 was a general lift in used prices, especially when it comes to beginner-friendly gear like entry-level recording interfaces and acoustic guitars. The reasons for this are basically twofold: first, a ton of novice music makers decided to use this year to get into making music, causing a large influx of new buyers to the market. Simultaneously, supply chain issues and store closures, especially in the spring, limited the availability of brand-new gear, prompting many buyers to turn to the used market. The effect was a general lift in used pricing as well as a decrease in the time to sale for lots of used listings on Reverb. For a sense of how pricing changed on any of the synths in these charts, click on the link and scroll down the Price Guide graph on the individual product pages.


Best-Selling Drum Machines, Samplers and Grooveboxes By Total Number of Sales

For this year's post, we've opted to delineate synths and drum machines (along with samplers and grooveboxes) into different rankings. Below you'll find the top-selling of the later category, though admittedly, there is some gear that's on the fence such as the Novation Circuit or various Elektron devices.

Rank Model Average Used Price USD
1 Korg Volca Beats $126.40
2 Elektron Digitakt $671.32
3 Korg Volca Sample $127.49
4 Elektron Model:Samples $276.82
5 Roland TR-8S $611.50
6 Behringer RD-8 $318.74
7 Akai MPC Live $880.23
8 Novation Circuit $281.01
9 Arturia DrumBrute Impact $253.33
10 Korg Volca Drum $142.24
11 Teenage Engineering PO-33 $87.43
12 Alesis SR-16 $103.39
13 Elektron Octatrack MkII $1,189.05
14 Arturia DrumBrute $293.59
15 Roland SP-404SX $431.31

Best-Selling Eurorack Modules By Total Number of Sales

Next up, we turn to the Eurorack market where the Make Noise Maths continues its streak as the king of bloop mountain. While of course, the great thing about Eurorack is that everyone’s setup is unique and personal and there are tons of cool modules out there to suit specific sonic needs, there remain a handful of useful Swiss Army knife models that can find application in virtually any system. Many of the top sellers here can be categorized as such.


Best-Selling Vintage Synths and Drum Machines By Total Number of Sales

Fourth up, we turn to the vintage segment of the market where we're lumping together everything synth, drum machine, and sampler made prior to the year 2000. The Juno-106 continues to be the vintage synth that's traded most frequently on Reverb and also ranks in the top spot in terms of dollars spent, not just sales volume as shown here. This year has also seen a continuation of the popularity of rackmount sound modules like the Yamaha TX81Z, which a lot of players have uncovered for their excellent value relative to some of their flashier keyboard equivalents.

Overall, though, the list is similar to the 2019 rankings—you can look at the 2019 version of this article here if you want to compare more closely. There some new entrants, though, including the Roland D-50 and Casio CZ-101, both widely produced digital synths that came out in the '80s. Also new to the top 15 was the Roland TR-606 which also saw a major increase in average price through the course of the year. What's interesting about this placement is that 2020 also saw two different recreations of the classic TR-606 in the form of the Roland TR-06 and Behringer's RD-6 clone. Both releases probably helped to shine some new light on the appeal of the original prompting renewed interest and increased sales. This dynamic of a reissue raising interest an original is not uncommon in the vintage gear market and certainly not limited to synths either.

Rank Model Average Used Price USD
1 Roland Juno-106 $1,677.98
2 Yamaha DX7 $587.33
3 Casio SK-1 $156.02
4 Roland TR-707 $522.65
5 Yamaha TX81Z $216.90
6 Roland JV-1080 $324.67
7 Roland TR-505 $184.14
8 Roland Juno-60 $2,583.78
9 Roland TR-606 Drumatix $553.35
10 Alesis HR-16 $210.42
11 Boss SP-202 $240.81
12 Roland D-50 $632.76
13 Casio CZ-101 $418.34
14 E-MU Systems Proteus 2000 $276.09
15 Suzuki Omnichord OM-84 $465.96
Reverb's Synth Market By Brand

In closing, here is a quick snapshot of the synth market on Reverb in 2020 on a brand basis. Take a look below to see how your favorite makes stack up in our market, and happy synthing in the new year!

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