Reverb has revealed its best-selling pedals of 2020, with the online gear marketplace declaring the TC Electronic Ditto Looper overall top seller, with EarthQuaker Devices Life Pedal V2 distortion/octave fuzz/boost pedal topping the newcomers chart.
Boss was the best-selling brand for total orders, followed by Electro-Harmonix, TC Electronic, MXR and JHS Pedals in fifth place.
We often try to read some significance into these figures but they resist easy narratives. While the very idea of anyone wishing to experience anything from 2020 on a loop is perplexing, the Ditto's popularity may have indicated a surge in demand for an accompaniment for people to play with.
With the pandemic isolating players from practice spaces, recording a loop to play over and practise to is one workaround. But the Ditto was the number two top seller in 2019, and its enduring popularity might speak to the growing importance of the looper in contemporary guitar player's arsenal.
For many solo performers, a reliable loop station is a fundamental building block of their rig. It can perform an equally important role in practice sessions. There's nothing like playing over chords to let you know if you have strayed off-key, to let you know what works and what doesn't.
The Ditto comes in various guises, but the simple single-knob, single-footswitch format is arguably one of the most simple on the market. Designed specifically for guitarists, it offers fuss-free performance and – most importantly – doesn't take up too much room on your pedalboard.
As for the EarthQuaker Devices Life Pedal V2 topping the newcomer chart – as in the best-selling pedal to have been released in 2020 – that perhaps less of a surprise.
There have been few more hyped and anticipated distortion pedals than the collaboration between the Akron, Ohio, effects pedal specialists and drone-metal pioneers Sunn O))).
Version one, released in 2019, sold out in quicktime, as have all 2,500 units of version two, with its redesigned enclosure the only difference in what is a most transformative distortion and boost. Except to pay more than £400 on Reverb if you want version two secondhand, over £500 for version one.
A two-stage pedal for truly transformative levels of gain, the Life Pedal features an octave fuzz inspired by classic Shin-Ei FY2 and FY6 units, which feeds into an LM308-chipped RAT-style distortion, with a three-way switch to choose between op-amp, asymmetric and symmetric clipping.
On the other side of the pedal, you've got a clean MOSFET boost, which can batter the front end of your amp into overdrive, and used in tandem with the fuzz/distortion side, can batter pretty much everything else in too.
Reverb acknowledges as much in its breakdown of sales figures. The new entry-level 3 Series from JHS Pedals which offered a stripped down Overdrive, Distortion, Fuzz, Compressor, Chorus, Delay and Reverb for $99 was only launched in October. Had they been released in January, Reverb forecasted that they would top the best newcomer list.
Otherwise it was a very respectable year for JHS Pedals, with all three of its Legends Series fuzz pedals in the top 15 newcomers.
Reverb's Best-Selling Pedals Overall 2020
- TC Electronic Ditto Looper
- Boss DS-1 Distortion
- TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb
- Fulltone OCD
- Keeley Compressor Plus
- MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay
- EarthQuaker Devices Plumes
- Walrus Audio Slö
- Line 6 HX Stomp
- Electro-Harmonix Canyon
- Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
- Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11 Reverb
- Boss BD-2 Blues Driver
- ProCo RAT 2
- Boss RC-3 Loop Station
Reverb's Best-Selling Pedals Overall 2020
- EarthQuaker Devices Sunn O))) Life Pedal V2
- Chase Bliss Audio Blooper
- JHS Legends Series Bender 1973 London Fuzz
- JHS Legends Series Supreme 1972 Japan Fuzz
- MXR CSP027 Timmy Overdrive
- Chase Bliss Audio Automatone MKII Preamp
- Line 6 POD GO
- JHS Legends Series Smiley 1969 London Fuzz
- Hologram Electronics Microcosm
- Strymon NightSky Time-Warped Reverberator
- JHS Legends Series Crimson 1992 Russia Fuzz
- Keeley ECCOS Neo-Vintage Tape Delay
- Walrus Audio Mako D1 High-Fidelity Stereo Delay
- Walrus Audio Ages Five-State Overdrive
- Electro-Harmonix Oceans 12