Reverb has been busy going over its stats for 2023 in recent weeks, sharing the best-selling guitars and best-selling pedals to have appeared on the music-making platform. Now it’s unveiled this year’s most popular guitar amps – and the data tells us a lot about the changing landscape among players.
First up, the dominance of digital amps is now irrefutable: Positive Grid’s Spark 40 once again takes the top spot, followed by Boss’ Katana-50 MkII and Yamaha’s THR30II.
Yes, last year, it was the Yamaha THR10II in third place, but the top three are essentially unchanged.
All three of the best-selling units are portable modeling amps. They also all tread an appealing line between physical and digital, by bundling up a wealth of convincing tones and effects available at the touch of a button, combined with a variety of expansive digital options: including software/app editing, smart practice features and audio interface/digital recording connections.
A decade ago, if you’d asked a guitarist who would produce the best-selling amp in 2023, none of these names would have entered their minds. Indeed, Positive Grid was only founded in 2013.
Even a few years ago, all three of these products were considered “challenger” amps and, while their emergence in the amp market was welcomed, the temptation was still to treat them as something of a novelty. Now they’re consistently topping the charts for sales and, in the process, can claim to be the world's biggest amp brands.
So what of the old guard? The iconic names that forged rock history? Well, looking at Reverb’s list, it’s a decidedly mixed picture.
Fortune still favors Fender, though not for its tube amps. The Tone Master Deluxe Reverb (a digital product) places highest, at number six, and it has the bass market sewn up, with the Rumble series taking three top 20 spots.
However, even Fender’s most popular tube build, the bankable Blues Deluxe III, is now all the way down at number 16.
As such, the firm’s seismic investment in its Tone Master Pro modeling unit (some seven years in the making) is looking like an increasingly good bet, especially as we will likely see more affordable iterations roll out down the line.
Vox – which last year took the number 11 spot with the classic tube combo, the AC15 – is nowhere to be seen in 2023. Meanwhile, Marshall, once a dominant force in the amp market, has just one placement in the top 20, with the Studio Vintage SV20H MKII landing at number 17.
Yes, tube builds are more expensive now – prohibitively so for many – but that doesn’t mean legacy brands are cursed to flounder, especially, it seems, if they’re open to innovating and covering different price points.
Case in point: Orange is sitting pretty, placing five products in the top 20, with hybrid tube unit the Micro Dark its highest entry at number four.
Brand power still counts for something, of course. Marshall remains the clear leader when it comes to non-guitarist brand recognition, for example – and it’s important to note that this is just one platform’s data – but the numbers speak for themselves.
Is Orange now a bigger brand than Marshall? And can the same be said of Boss, or Yamaha, or Positive Grid? By the looks of the recent sales data: absolutely.
Check out the full list below, and head to Reverb for more information.
Reverb's overall best-selling amps of 2023
- Positive Grid Spark 40
- Boss Katana-50 MkII
- Yamaha THR30II-WL
- Orange Micro Dark
- Fender Rumble 40 V3
- Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb
- Kemper Amps Profiler Stage
- Boss KTN-MINI Katana Mini
- Boss Katana-100 MkII
- Orange Terror Stamp
- Yamaha THR10II
- Orange Super Crush 100
- Orange MT20 Micro Terror
- PRS MT 15 Mark Tremonti
- Fender Rumble 100 V3
- Fender Blues Junior III
- Marshall Studio Vintage SV20H MKII
- Orange Crush CR35RT
- Fender Rumble 25 V3
- Fender Mustang LT25