Reverb’s end-of-year sales data are in, and 2022 proved to be a year in which players looked to something a little bit different from their guitar effects pedals, with the chart-topping units both fully featured units that blur the lines between looper and delay pedal, offering players a little of both but something else entirely.
High-end units from Chase Bliss and Hologram Electronics Microcosm topped both new releases and overall sales charts respectively, with hardy evergreen unit-shifters such as the Keeley Compressor Plus and EarthQuaker Devices Plumes charting highly.
The Chase Bliss Habit Echo Collector was Reverb’s top-selling new pedal release of the year, while the Hologram Electronics Microcosm granular looper and glitch pedal was the overall top-seller.
These, however, are not your common or garden looping stations, with each offering a platform for adventurism, new ways of presenting electric guitar loops – and indeed those from other sources – with different textures and sounds, and a functionality that extends beyond the creation of a simple backing track.
Perhaps this year’s data tells us that players have gravitated from simple looping stations to those with more functions. Or that looping as an art form in itself has matured to the point where players are seeking out units with more outré possibilities.
As we have come to expect from Chase Bliss, the Habit Echo Collector can perform all kinds of functions. Described as a a “musical sketchpad”, it can process loops, but also create cascading sounds, weird synth-like textures and more. So long as it is on, it is listening to what you play – scary, but also allowing you to rewind and revisit those sounds, create harmonies, backing tracks, and to use the unit as a songwriting tool as much as an effect. Just listen to the demo below for an idea of what it can do. The sky, or maybe somewhere just beyond the sky, is the limit.
Released in February 2020, the Hologram Electronics Microcosm is arguably more synthesizer than it is a looper or reverb pedal, though it covers all bases here as it allows you to “slice, stretch, rearrange and manipulate” your sound on the fly, seasoning your sound with the onboard pitch modulation, stereo reverb and resonant lowpass filter. There is nothing quite like it.
Away from the number one spots, however, there were some familiar fascias. Rounding out 2022’s top three newcomers we had a pair of pedals that revised much-loved designs, with EarthQuaker Devices’s Special Cranker overdrive pedal – formerly known as the Speaker Cranker – at second spot, and the seminal Line 6 DL4 MkII multi-delay in third.
The overall top-selling charts, which documents sales of pedals from all eras, saw last year’s number one, the Keeley Compressor Plus compressor pedal, in at two, with the EarthQuaker Devices Plumes Small Signal Shredder tube-like drive pedal at three. You can check out the full lists – and some demos – with links to reviews below.
There were a number of Reverb exclusives this year. These were excluded from the sales data, but of Reverb says that the Electro-Harmonix J Mascis Ram's Head Big Muff, Keeley Moon Op Amp Fuzz, Death By Audio Exploding Head, JHS 75 Throwback Overdrive/Preamp, All-Pedal Jeff Loomis Devil’s Triad, and the Fart Pedal all sold well.
Well, we can take that as read that all 250 Fart Pedals were sold, giving a whole new meaning to the idea of pushing air through the speaker.
The top-selling guitar effects pedals on Reverb in 2022
2. Keeley Compressor Plus
10. Boss BD-2 Blues Driver
12. Chase Bliss Habit
14. JHS Morning Glory V4
19. Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive
Reverb’s Top 20 selling new pedal releases of 2022
1. Chase Bliss Habit
4. Keeley Halo Andy Timmons Dual Echo
12. JHS Overdrive/Preamp
13. Walrus Audio Slötva Multi-Texture Reverb
14. Death by Audio Space Bender
15. Source Audio Zio
16. Jam Pedals Delay Llama Mk.3
17. Soldano Slo Pedal
18. Walrus Audio Lore
19. Nux NGS-6 Amp Academy
20. Wampler Moxie