“It's an elusive quality that hasn't been captured by modeling amps”: Steve Morse pinpoints the key traits that give tube amps the edge over their digital counterparts

Steve Morse
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Like it or not, digital modeling amps are on the rise. Many electric guitar legends – from The Edge to Dave Mustaine and Mike McCready – have made the switch in recent years. Steve Morse is also a fan, but he’s conceded there is one thing digital amps can't get right. 

Such guitar amps are revered for their travel-friendly footprint and unbridled versatility, but in conversation with Ultimate Guitar, the Deep Purple and Dixie Dregs guitarist has said there’s one trick his ENGL amp does better than its digital counterparts. 

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.