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Cheap import guitar of the week #4 - Chibson Ace Frehley Budokan VOS Les Paul

Ace Frehley Budokan VOS Ebony fingerboard LP Custom Electric Guitar

Why be someone that pays $10,000 for one of these when you can have one for well under $500?

Yes, there are people who pay 10 grand or more for one of these things. Why? Because some KISS fans are willing to pay big money for certain things.

If you're going to buy this, you might as well get it cheap, and that's where this Gibson copy of the Ace Frehley Budokan Les Paul comes in.

How is it wired? I have no idea. Does that matter? Not really, because the only pickup that matters in this guitar is the rear (bridge) side, given that's the only pickup Ace ever used.

If you wanted to have this be the "total Ace sound," all that's required is installing a DiMarzio Super Distortion. Seriously, that's it. It's not like Ace's sound was anything special.

This is yet again a guitar you buy just for looks and nothing else. It's got that classic 1970s look to it, and the lightning bolt fretboard inlays do look pretty cool.

When you look at the photos for this guitar on the link above, you may think the pickups aren't mounted correctly. In fact, they are. The "crooked" look is because of curved pickup rings (or frames or whatever you want to call them.) If the lean bothers you, they can be swapped out easily with replacement rings for real cheap.

You also might be wondering where the pick guard is. It doesn't come with one - but that's a good thing because the vast majority of the time, the guard is installed wrong on these guitars even when built by Gibson or Epiphone, and at times the guard is the wrong color (such as white instead of creme.) Get yourself a dirt cheap guard, and problem solved.

So yes, this Paul takes a little work to get it into "full Ace mode," so to speak. Worth it? That depends on how much you like the look of this guitar. If when you look at it, you think, "Yeah! I'd love to have one of these!", then go ahead and get one. With some minor tweaks, it can be a great player - if you get can used to the 3-pickup layout, that is.


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