Thursday, June 2, 2011

Results for the Harp Amp Poll


Data collected from April 17, 2011 to June 1, 2011

372 participants -- Margin of Error = 5.18% at 95 percent confidence.

26% of participants earn more than 25% of their income directly from playing harmonica. (PRO25)

97.4% of participants are male.

Average age of participants is 51 years.

Average number of amps owned that are used for harmonica: 4.5

53% of participants bought their performance amp USED.


Performance Amps
FENDER --- 32%
SONNY JR --- 14
(none) --- 4
MASCO --- 3
GIBSON --- 2
METEOR --- 2
PEAVEY --- 2
VHT --- 2

You can view the complete results by clicking here. (PDF)


NOTES: The poll results are interesting. A whopping 26 percent of the poll participants earn more than 25% of their income directly from playing harmonica. That number is much higher than I expected, and is probably a result of me promoting the poll in online forums that are frequented by gigging players. So keep this bias in mind as you look over the numbers.

This poll proves something we already knew: Harp players are older and overwhelmingly male.

This poll also shows that Fender is still the big dog among performance harp amps, particularly with gigging players. The Fender amp most often used in a performance setting is the Bassman RI. Most amps used for performance were bought on the second-hand market.

Many thanks to all those who participated in this poll.

Note: I'll be posting addenda to this article from time to time over the next few days and weeks. There is lots of interesting stuff buried in the poll.

UPDATE 06/04/11: A reader asked about amps that most often get used by a player in all three settings. Here are the percentages for players who use the same amp for performance, recording, and practice, and the amp they use:

Same Amp in all 3 Settings

Fender -- 36%
Sonny Jr -- 15
Harpgear -- 9
Masco -- 7

Others were, Danelectro, Kalamazoo, Epiphone, Mojo, Peavey, and VHT.

There were 91 participants who use the same amp in all three setting, but only 18 of them own just one amp. The average number of amps owned by players in this subset is 3.7.

UPDATE 06/04/11: Overall, harp players own 4.5 amps on average. Players who earn more than 25% of their income directly from playing harp own 5.26 amps on average.

UPDATE 06/09/11: Sonny Jr amps garnered an impressive 14% of the market for performance amps, behind only Fender. The SJ models break out this way:

Super Sonny -- 23%
410 -- 23
Avenger -- 19
Super Cruncher -- 17
Cruncher -- 13
Model 1 -- 5

The Sonny Jr amp was purchased NEW by 81% of those who used it as their primary gig rig.

UPDATE 06/24/11: Performance amp choice by age range.

Here is a table with age ranges, their percentage in the the poll sample, and the number one amp used in performance settings for each age cohort.

20s -- 4% -- Fender
30s -- 11% -- Fender
40s -- 14% -- Fender
50s -- 44% -- Fender
60s -- 24% -- Fender

No comments: