YEAR: 1961-62
BODY: Mahogany
NECK: Mahogany
FRETBOARD: Rosewood
TUNERS: 3-on-plate Kluson Deluxe (repl.)
PICKUP: P-90
When Ace joined up with KISS he wasn't the Les Paul man he would later become but this was out of necessity rather than choice - he simply couldn't afford a Les Paul. In Ace's own words he "used to use an old Epiphone with an old humbucker in it" (GTRTW 1996). Although I think he was wrong about the humbucker, he got the guitar right. For KISS's first real club gig on January 30, 1973 Ace played an Epiphone Coronet.

The Epiphone Coronet, which was Gibson-made, was initially an alternative to the Gibson Les Paul Jr. It was a basic one-pickup solidbody guitar for a good price, no more and no less. The one that Ace played during the early part of 1973 was probably a 1960 or '61 model: it has the "second generation" body style with rounded edges [1]; the symmetrical "batwing" pickguard; and, although just barely visible under Ace's right hand, a P-90 pickup with a black plastic cover. In the March 10 pic you can see a small patch of black above Ace's right hand that is the "dogear" of the P-90. A standard-sized humbucker wouldn't show up in that position. [2] The cherry finish shown was the only one available. The metal headstock logo plate, clearly visible in the January 30 pic, was replaced by a pearl logo in 1961 but the remaining stock of the metal logo plates were used on guitars produced in early 1961.

The pic from March 10 shows Ace beginning to develop his trademark makeup and a slight change to the Coronet. The logo plate has been removed and the tuners changed. The stock Coronet had 3-on-plate Kluson Deluxe tuners with oval white tuning pegs (which can be seen in the January 30 pic if you strain your eyes a bit) but here we see metal tuning pegs of indeterminate style. The pics aren't exactly stellar in quality so it's hard to see whether or not Ace retained the original Gibson-style knobs or not.

Live or rehearsal pics between March 10 and July 13 are scarce, non-existant as far as I can tell, but some time in that period the Coronet is outed by the Ovation Breadwinner.
[2] However, the catalog entry for the Coronet for both 1961 and 1962 show the guitar with the earlier New York pickup
The details of this "communal backup guitar" were covered in the Paul section so this is just a brief re-telling. It's another Epiphone Coronet but this one appears to be a 1961 or '62. [3] The guitar was probably procured towards the tail end of the spring of 1975 and Ace first shows up with this particular Epiphone Coronet on June 1in San Fransisco, CA. Before then Ace seems to have had two different Gibson Les Paul Jr's as his backups. Come the Alive! Tour the Coronet stayed on as part of the backup rotation, Ace gets some mileage out of it on October 4 in Passaic, NJ and it shows its face in some backstage shots from Toledo, OH on November 12. So, a quick recap of the many changes to this guitar: the tuners have been changed to Schaller M6's; it's been refinished white; the P-90 pickup has been replaced (probably with a DiMarzio); and from the looks of it the bridge has probably been replaced as well. [4] The knobs on the Coronet look to be either taken from a Gibson Les Paul or could be the earlier New York-style knobs that the 1958-59 Coronet had.

This Coronet doesn't seem to last past 1975. Apart from that one outlier pic from June (which does cast some doubt on the veracity of that dating) all other appreances of the white Coronet, in either Paul or Ace's hands, seem to date to October-November 1975. Backup guitars weren't used much in those days [5], they were only there for relief duty when the no. 1 had to be re-tuned or worked on, so the brief periods of use as seen in the picture records might not tell the entire story; most of these guitars could very well have stayed on for longer periods of time but gotten little use (or simply not being caught on camera when they were used). By December Ace can be seen wielding the Travis Bean for encores and the white Coronet is seen no more.
YEAR: 1961-62
BODY: Mahogany
NECK: Mahogany
FRETBOARD: Rosewood
TUNERS: 3-on-plate Kluson Deluxe (repl.)
PICKUP: P-90 (repl.)
[1] The earlier Coronets had a slab-style body that was a little thicker. The new body had "a new thinner cutaway" which was "strictly modern and strictly wonderful" according to the 1961 catalog
[3] The shape of the pickguard where it meets the neck differed slightly on the 1962 model with the "cuts" not being as deep on either side. But, just like the using up of the leftover stock of the metal logo plate it seems as if some 1962 Coronets retained the older pickguard.
[4] See the Coronet part of the Paul section for a better close-up of the guitar.
[5] I made a similar comment in the Paul section but it is rather odd that a band that had a sponsorship with Gibson, and evidently enjoyed the instruments Gibson made, had so few backup guitars by that brand. Instead we find experimental guitars (see the Veleno for instance) and a ridiculously modified budget guitar of yore (this Epiphone).