Looking for a heavy relic? This £1,500 Mustang has been almost completely burnt to a crisp

Is it time for a debate about the tonal properties of charcoal?

A new eBay listing has left some potential guitar buyers perplexed, stretching the definition of “relic” to include a 1966 Fender Mustang that has been set on fire and severely burned.

The item’s description does not offer much provenance as to the instrument’s origins: it’s not clear whether the guitar is a reissue of the 1966 Mustang, or an original. It’s also not clear whether the guitar still functions – one would assume that, having been burnt as badly as the photographs show, the guitar’s electronics would have likely failed in some way.

The guitar’s condition, however, is listed as “pre-owned” rather than “for parts or not working,” implying that the instrument is technically still playable. The use of the word “relic” does imply that the damage was deliberate, and so perhaps the electronics were repaired after the almost total immolation the guitar suffered.

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While it may be technically still playable, it’s bound to have a, well, ‘unique’ feel, as it’s described as having a “maple neck with charcoal fingerboard – missing some frets and all dots.” None of us here at Guitar.com have any experience with charcoal fingerboards, as they’re pretty rare on production guitars, unless you happen to reside inside the fiery pit of Hell. Tuning may also be tricky, as the plastic tuner buttons have all but melted off their posts.

The eBay listing is, at time of writing, just over two days old. It describes the guitar as “an interesting conversation piece for long winter nights,” and “a great Christmas present.” If you do want to give the gift of a lifetime to the pyromaniac guitarist in your life, be prepared for quite the price tag. £1,500, to be exact.

Relic’ing is a divisive topic in the world of guitar. Proponents will say that they just like the look and feel of a worn-in guitar, while critics will decry relic’d instruments as tacky, even dishonest. However, even the most extreme relics tend to stick to trying to replicate the wear-and-tear a guitar might show after years of playing. It’s hard to see what gigging life could lead to this “very hot real relic” – perhaps a previous owner accidentally booked a gig inside an active volcano.

In any case, it’s left a couple of users over on the /r/offset subreddit perplexed. “Is this a joke? ‘Kustom Shop’, ‘hot real relic’ – no mate, you’ve just set your guitar on fire,” wrote one user. Others claimed that they had seen the same instrument floating around eBay for a few years, despite the youth of this particular eBay listing.

See the real, actual eBay listing here.

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