The online instrument marketplace Reverb.com came out with a new report of their best-selling guitars for 2023. This report included a few different lists, including overall best-selling guitars and best-selling new guitars. Interestingly enough, the top spot on both of these lists is PRS SE Silver Sky.
Even after all these decades, Fender and Gibson are, obviously, still dominating the market. As expected, the lists are full of their classic or new models, with Fender seemingly taking more spots than Gibson. Nonetheless, they still weren’t able to outperform PRS’s more affordable alternative to John Mayer’s signature guitar, Silver Sky.
Reverb also points out that the lists are compiled by “number of items sold, not the total price of sold items.” So let’s look into it.
Best-Selling Electric Guitars on Reverb
The list of overall best-selling guitars on the marketplace features a total of 20 models. Right behind the SE Silver Sky, we can see the Fender Player Stratocaster, with the Fender Player Telecaster coming in third. The next six spots are reserved for the usual US-made Gibson and Fender models, as well as the flagship version of PRS Silver Sky.
This overall best-selling list seems is a mixed bag of cost-friendly(er) and flagship models. But it’s still interesting to see two Squier models on it, as well as four PRS SE guitars and a couple of Fender Player guitars.
In their key takeways for this list, Reverb points out that “SE Silver Sky reigns supreme for the second year in a row.” They add that this was helped by a massive PRS sale that slashed the prices by 20 percent, “which the company extended across all of its dealers.”
They also add that Strat and S-style guitars have outperformed Teles and T-style guitars.
Best-Selling New Electric Guitars on Reverb
With the new guitars, PRS SE Silver Sky also takes the top spot. Fender American Professional II Stratocaster follows in second place, while Fender Player Telecaster and Fender Player Stratocaster come in third and fourth, respectively.
Then there’s another PRS SE, the DGT David Grissom Signature. The list includes a total of five PRS SE models, two Fender Player guitars, and five Squiers. There’s also Gibsons on there, as well as Yamaha Revstar II Standard RSS02T.
Reverb points out that PRS SE DGT was “the only exclusion from PRS’ year-end sale on SE models,” and yet it still found its way on the list.
Used Electric Guitars
The situation is a little different in the used electric guitar market. As far as Reverb goes, Gibson Les Paul Standard ’60s takes the top spot. Of course, these are new models, one of Gibson’s two refreshed models for the LP Standard line, the other being the ’50s-style guitar.
Although there are still Fender Player and PRS SE guitars here, the used market focuses on the higher-end models. Despite that, PRS SE Silver Sky took the third spot here. The only “truly vintage” guitar model that appeared on the list was the “Norlin Era” Gibson Les Paul. These are guitars made between 1970 and 1983, widely considered to be of lower quality compared to the company’s older stuff.
Is Everyone Buying Cheaper Guitars?
Looking at these two lists, more affordable instruments seem to be more popular. This is somewhat expected with the inflation and massive problems in the supply chain over the last few years — something that Fender CEO Andy Mooney also talked about. On top of that, the quality of those overseas modestly-priced models is only getting better. The trend seems to be shifting, but we’re yet to see what happens in coming years.
Best-Selling PRS Guitars of 2023
In other news, PRS also shared a few details about their best-selling models for 2023. And, interestingly enough, Silver Sky wasn’t on top. Instead, it was the new T-style NF 53. On the second spot, we have another T-style model — Myles Kennedy’s signature guitar.
Silver Sky takes the third spot, although they didn’t specify if it’s the flagship one, the SE version, or both combined. Custom 24 and Modern Eagle V models round up the list, taking the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.
Photo: Elderly Instruments (Elderlyshowroom4)