Spartan Music 2023 Guitar Pedal Questionnaire Results

, by Mark Jackson, 3 min reading time

We recently conducted a survey among our customers and received some intriguing responses. We posed 10 questions related to guitar pedal buying habits and preferences, garnering just over 225 responses. Let's delve into the findings!


Only 2% of those under the age of 25 were actively purchasing pedals.

Firstly, we aimed to gauge the age range of our customers. Given our diverse product range spanning £25-500, we expected a broad spectrum of ages, from budget-conscious teens to those with more disposable income.

Surprisingly, only 2% of our customers are aged 24 and under, much less than anticipated. This might indicate a trend of fewer younger individuals learning musical instruments, limitations in our own customer base, or squeezed finances in the lower age bracket.

I certainly know I was gifted more gear than I bought myself in my teens!

Number of Pedals Owned

Most people own around 6 pedals.

The chart generally aligns with expectations, with most individuals owning 10 or fewer pedals, except for enthusiasts with higher numbers. Special mention to the 9 people who own over 20 pedals!

Average Amount Spent on a Pedal

We then inquired about the typical amount of money people spend on a pedal.

As expected, there's a significant presence in the £75-150 range, corresponding to mainstream brands like Electro Harmonix. However, the budget £20-60 range is also well-represented, indicating a considerable number of individuals building affordable pedalboards.

Most Expensive Pedal

An intriguing chart for those interested in the cost of pedals. Most pedals, even boutique ones, tend to top out at £400. The higher prices seen here are likely due to limited editions, rarity, discontinuation, or association with famous users.

Cost of Living

60% state that the cost of living has impacted their pedal buying.

We are aware that the cost of living has risen significantly in recent years, impacting various expenses. Although our product prices have increased by 15% in the last 2 years, the rising costs of essentials like food, drink, gas, electricity, and rent/mortgage have constrained spending on non-essentials.

When asked if the cost of living crisis affected their pedal purchases, 60% confirmed a reduction, while 40% reported no change. Surprisingly, pedals seem to be considered closer to "essential" items than anticipated!


There is considerable online discussion about pedal cloning and the ethical considerations surrounding it. Threads on this topic frequently emerge on forums, accompanied by strong opinions. Surprisingly, only 33% of respondents expressed an opinion on the matter.

Mainstream vs Boutique

65% prefer mainstream pedals.

Given that we offer a mix of mainstream and boutique pedals, we were curious about our customers' preferences. We inquired whether people favored boutique brands like Earthquaker, Strymon, and Chase Bliss, etc., or mainstream brands like EHX, BOSS, and TC Electronic, etc. It turns out that mainstream pedals are still favored, with 65% of customers choosing them over boutique options. This preference is likely influenced by the higher cost and perceived niche nature of boutique pedals.

Second-hand Pedals

80% of people buy second hand.

A significant majority, 80%, opt for second-hand pedals, according to the survey results. This is likely due to pedals maintain their value over time and have decent reliability for several years. Additionally, certain brands become discontinued or hard to find, contributing to the thriving second-hand market.

Type of Pedals Owned

Tuner, delay, and overdrive are the most popular pedals.

There is a vast array of different pedals available. While our questionnaire did not cover all types due to length constraints, over 60% of respondents own a tuner pedal, which was slightly lower than expected. Clip-on tuners are typically available for under £10, likely explaining how the remaining respondents tune their instruments.

Delay and overdrive rank next in popularity, with roughly 55% of respondents owning these types. Chorus, reverb, and distortion closely follow, while synth pedals are the least popular, owned by just over 13% of respondents.

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