wasn’t uncommon for players like Zakk to use
three of them: one for clean, one for rhythm
and one for solos. I’m sure now almost thirty
years later, the new player who has a plethora
of gear available to them wonders what the
reasons were for the single-channel design.
Everything on the GP-1000 was there because
of the needs of the time it was released.
Why was the GP-1000 discontinued?
There was a major earthquake and the factory was flattened… No, I’m kidding! It might
as well have happened. I remember the day
well. GP-1000s had no competition. We came
out of nowhere and nobody was ready to
compete with us, until one day a new MIDI
preamp was released. It had two 12AX7s
and 128 presets, and it was the same price
as ours. It didn’t even sound as good as the
GP-1000, but it had 128 different sounds.
Our sales came to a complete stop… I mean
not even a trickle. That’s when I rushed back
into the design lab and designed and produced the M-1000, which turned out to be
another slam run, so we stopped production
on the GP-1000 and started making M-1000
tube heads and cabinets.
There are calls to re-release the GP-1000.
Any plans to do that? How is the GP-1000II
pedal coming along?
How many were made? What don’t people know about the GP-1000 that would surprise them? Zakk Wylde poses for a Metaltronix ad around the time of of the No Rest for the Wicked tour. Photo courtesy of Lee Jackson.
It was an exciting time, the ‘80s. Hollywood
was rocking, [there was] the competitive nature
between the different bands and everyone
was trying to find their edge. We were literally
working on every big new album or CD that
was coming out of L.A.—working with everyone
from Dokken to Ratt to Ozzy, so we were just
trying to keep up with the demand, because
in the ‘80s products were truly driven by artist
endorsements. Players really cared what someone was using to get their sound. We would
design a custom rig for a famous guitar player,
then build the same rig for players all over the
world that would want that player’s sound.
I don’t have an exact number. It is in the ten
to fifteen thousand range. We made them for
every country in all different voltages.
The wildest place for a GP-1000 was the violinist for the Philharmonic Orchestra, who uses it
as a preamp for the violin. And there is another
famous fiddle player, Richard Bowden, who
uses the GP-1000 as a preamp into the PA.
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