Simon McBride Had to Modify One of His Amps for Deep Purple Shows, Here’s Why

Simon McBride, who’s now playing guitar in Deep Purple and the band’s MK IX lineup, discussed some of his live gear recently and explained why one of his amplifiers is modified.

Speaking to Danish guitar pedal manufacturer TC Electronic, McBride shared a few details about the Engl amps that he’s using. There were three amp heads in the rig, two of which seem to be Artist Edition heads, while the third one in the bottom, which he didn’t discuss, looks like a Powerball head. Asked about these amps, he started with the top one and said (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):

“This amp, it’s an Artist Edition. It’s kind of modified for me. We’re still tweaking with it. The guys at Engl are great to work with.”

Simon McBride (DEEP PURPLE) - Gear Rundown

Going more into the matter, Simon then started explaining why he has two main amps:

“There’s two of them. There’s this one, but this is the unmodified one. So it’s a little bit more less mid and more top[-end].”

Showing the one below it, he said:

“And this one, I like a bit more — the higher mids and stuff put into it and just a little bit less of that sparkly presence thing on amps.”

SIMON McBRIDE 'High Stakes' - Official Music Video

The reason for this, as McBride explains, is that the band is also heavily relying on Hammon organs that keyboardist Don Airey uses. He continued:

“Because it’s a hard thing when you play with you know a Hammond player because they’re on very similar frequencies. So it’s trying to get that balance right.”

“The Hammond is more kind of probably like [the unmodified amp] but the modified one is just sitting a little bit above the frequency range of his. So it works really well.”

“It’s a great amp, we’re still tweaking it and trying to get exactly for me what I want. But so far, so good.”

Deep Purple - Lazy ( Istanbul 25.05.2022)

Going over to the cabinets, Simon revealed that these are the same cabs that his predecessor in the band, Steve Morse, was using before he came into the picture. He explained:

“The cabinets they’re still actually Steve’s cabinets. They’re Engl cabinets. They still work, they’re all good. Vintage 30s in them, Celestions and they all sound great.”

During the interview, Simon also discussed his guitars. In fact, he revealed that there are only two instruments he takes with him on the tour. While holding one of those two, his PRS Custom Singlecut Semi-Hollow, he said:

“I [also] use a PRS 408. It’s kind of cool for some of those older sounds like Ritchie used to get. It’s still a humbucker in it. but it’s quite bright, a little bit. And it gives you that very open, transparent kind of thing. But yeah, I only bring two guitars with me. It’s all I need.”

Deep Purple - Highway Star ( Live In Istanbul 2022 )

About a year ago, in the summer of 2022, Deep Purple and Steve Morse officially parted ways. Initially, in March last year, Morse said that his absence was only temporary as he decided to stay home and take care of his wife Janice who was battling cancer. When he finally decided to leave officially, Morse shared this statement:

“Last Autumn, I suddenly left the Purple writing session in Germany because my wife was having a real medical crisis. Almost a year later, we are learning to accept stage four aggressive cancer and chemo treatment for the rest of her life.”

“We both miss being at shows, but I simply couldn’t commit to long or far away tours, since things can change quickly at home. I suggested lining up a substitute guitarist last Autumn, hoping we could see the miraculous cancer cure all of us have heard about. As time went by, I could see the way things were heading though, after 28 years of being in the band.”

Deep Purple Wien 12.7.2023 Simon McBride 20230712 212301

“I’ve already played my last show with Purple back in Florida on the Rock Legends Cruise. I wish to thank the listeners who so strongly supported live music and turned every show from a dress rehearsal to a thundering, exciting experience.”

“I’ll miss everybody in the band and crew but being Janine’s helper and advocate has made a real difference at many key points.”

“As Janine adjusts to her limitations, she is able to do many things on her own, so we will try to play some shorter nearby concert tours with friends to – hopefully – get both of us out of the house!”

Simon McBride ripping it up on the Sonzera 50 | PRS Guitars

He then also shared a few kind words about Simon McBride, saying:

“I know Simon has the gig nailed already. But I’m now handing over the keys to the vault which holds the secret of how Ritchie’s Smoke on the Water intro was recorded. I guess you have to jiggle the key just right because I never got it open.”

After officially joining the band, McBride discussed being a part of Deep Purple’s complex history by saying:

“Everybody has their own opinion on the guitar players in Deep Purple and which one worked better or whatnot.”

Guitar Clinic Simon McBride von Deep Purple im Soundwerk

“I [am] respectful to everybody who’s played there, because they’re all good players — every single one of ’em — so whether it’s Ritchie or Tommy or Steve, I just kind of [am] respectful to what they’ve done in the past, and I just do my own thing most of the time.”

Technically, McBride comes in as the fifth guitar player to be a part of Deep Purple. Aside from Ritchie Blackmore, who pretty much originally defined what the band was all about, the lineup also saw Tommy Bolin, Steve Morse, and even Joe Satriani for a brief period after Blackmore left for good in the early 1990s.

Photo: Stefan Brending (2022 Lieder am See – Deep Purple – Simon McBride – by 2eight – 9SC6851)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.