A pair of rigs featuring Lee Jackson’s GP-1000 belonging to Children of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho.

GP-1000, Then and Now: Techs Speak the Preamp Truth

Although Lee Jackson has said that Loudness’ Akira Takasaki didn’t use the GP-1000, former Loudness manager Kazuo Sumida weighs in with his recollections:

On the On the Prowl album he had mainly used Lee Jackson’s modded Marshall. I also think his Lee Jackson modified Marshalls were the main gear for the Soldier of Fortune album and tour, but I also remember Akira using the GP-1000 in his house, with a Macintosh Power Amp and JBL speakers. The sounds were really amazing… big sound. The GP-1000 was in the rack case surely, but I did not know when he used a particular preamp. At the Dec. 31, 1989 Tokyo Dome concert he might have used that GP-1000 with Ashley power amps, or it could have been the preamp section of his Lee Jackson-modified Marshall.

Children of Bodom tech, Neubi, also spoke to me regarding another pair of famous proponents of the GP-1000: Alexi Laiho and Roope Latvala.

How long have Alexi and Roope been using the Lee Jackson Perfect Connection GP-1000 preamp?

I started working with Alexi in 2001, and he was already using the GP-1000. Alexi recorded the last CD, Blooddrunk, with the new model from Marshall, the Kerry King amp, and he was pretty happy with the sound. But as soon we started our next world tour, we had quite a lot of problems with these amps, so Alexi decided to go back to the old stuff he was using, because we never had any problems with these.

There are two or three basic versions of this preamp, which can be ascertained by the serial number. What are the serial numbers of these GP-1000 preamps?

They are 880531 and 870576. We do have a spare one, which I don’t have the serial number for right now, because the gear is on the way to the next festival.

Which brand of tubes are preferred for their GP-1000s?

Usually, we’re using Groove Tubes for preamps and power amps.

What are the settings for each GP-1000?

The settings for both players are different, but basically it’s: preamp Volume on maximum, Distortion [push-pull pot] pulled out and on maximum; the Middle pretty much on full, Bass and Treble in mid-position. Alexi likes a pretty bright and mid sound for his solo parts. Roope was using more low end on the preamp. I can add that both guys, Alexi and Roope, are using internal boosters for their guitars to get enough distortion from the preamp.

Have any modifications been performed on their GP-1000s?

Yes. Both preamps of Alexi and Roope are modified. A guy in Helsinki made them have a little more distortion.

Recent eBay listings of the GP-1000 have concluded at $600 and $620 and the value appears to be continuing to climb. This is no doubt in part due to its use by Children of Bodom. What are your thoughts on being the leading proponent on the GP-1000 and single-handedly raising the value and profile of these preamps?

From the tech side, I just can say this is one of the best compliments for the Lee Jackson guys. Alexi is one of the best shredders in the world, and of course especially on eBay, the prices will raise from day to day. Personally, I think it is a shame that they stopped building this preamp. I am sure many people would be happy if Lee Jackson would build a new version of the GP-1000 again in a 19-inch version.