This unassuming little silver box is worth its weight in gold.

Back in the early ’90s, a technical wizard by the name of Bill Finnegan developed a new type of effects pedal for guitars. It was an overdrive pedal which produces that familiar rough, growling sound used in a range of rock genres.

Without going into too much of the fine details, what made Finnegan’s pedals so unique was that they could create a distortion effect while still retaining much of the unique tone of the guitar. This might not mean much to most people, but for prominent guitarists of the day such as Joe Perry, Jeff Beck, and Mike McCready (to name only a very few), it was an important breakthrough in the technology.

▼ A video showing a demo of a silver and gold Centaur

These pedals sold from 1994 to 2000 and about 8,000 were produced, with various cases colored either in gold or silver and with or without the image of a centaur. The pedals themselves have acquired legendary status as a collector’s item and because of their relatively small number are sold at a very high price.

“High” that is, unless you happen to have been at a sale of unclaimed lost and found items on an Osaka subway line 15 years ago, where a Klon Centaur sold for only 600 yen (US$5.44); an amazing price for even a run-of-the-mill effects pedal. One very lucky friend of a Twitter user by the handle of Nakachan was both lucky and knowledgeable enough to spot it and has kept it in his collection with the price tag still proudly displayed.

Other like-minded Twitter users confirmed the value of the Silver Horsie Klon Centaur. The “Horsie” designation means it has a picture of a centaur and is just that much rarer. Current asking prices in Japan are around 250,000 yen (US$2,270).

▼ These prices below are for a Gold Horsie Klon Centaur, but a Silver Horsie also commands a high price.

Many comments were simply emoji depicting various states of shock, but here are a few of the legible ones. Interestingly, in Japanese, the original Greek word “kentauros” is used for “centaur” and even though “Centaur” is clearly printed on the case, Japanese guitar enthusiasts still refer to this pedal as a “Kentauros” too.

“I feel sorry for the person who lost it, but what a grab!”
“I’d keep the price tag on it and show everyone too. It’s like a badge of honor.”
“A Kentauros for s-s-six hundred yen?!?”
“The Kentauros is a pretty pedal, but the sound is plain. Don’t @ me.”
“The chances of finding that must be rarer than hitting the lottery.”
“That takes me back! I used to use one of those a long time ago.”

With all the hoopla surrounding this device, it’s surprising that it had been lost on a subway train in the first place and gone unclaimed. Perhaps, its previous owner wasn’t even aware of what they had.

It’s safe and sound now though, as Nakachan’s friend seems to have given this orphaned effects pedal a good home all these years. So all’s well that ends well, and it’s a reminder that even though treasure hunts usually result in a bunch of junk, it still pays to keep a sharp eye out just in case.

Source: Twitter/@nakachang_yuta, Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@nakachang_yuta