The 15 most unusual and unlikely instrument and audio collaborations

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The 15 most unusual and unlikely instrument and audio collaborations

Words by Cambell Courtney

From Fender and Lego to Roland and Puma, we check out the collabs that took us by surprise

Collaborations in music between artists is commonplace, that’s no secret. On scales large and small, from the biggest names to the smallest, we see it all the time whether it’s taking on a producing role, writing, performing, or more.

These don’t always turn out that well, just ask Lou Reed and Metallica which was one of the more unusual (and unfortunate) pairings we’ve had the (dis)pleasure of hearing. These collabs aren’t limited to just songs and albums though, as some of the biggest names in audio and instrument manufacturing have paired with some pretty far removed companies over the journey.

Fortunately for us, they’re often pretty sick – here are 15 of the more unlikely instrument and audio collaborations that we are absolutely here for.

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Fender x Supreme

To start off this list is the first of many collaborations between music manufacturers and Supreme, the fashion label. The Supreme Fender Stratocaster was released in 2017 and featured an all white design, including fretboard and headstock, adorned with the red Supreme box logo in between the pickups.

Teenage Engineering x Off White

One of the more surprising entries on this list is the collaboration between Teenage Engineering and Off White. Off white is a streetwear fashion label, much in the same vein as Supreme, whereas Teenage Engineering is most well known for their synthesisers, samplers, and audio units such as the OP-1.

The collaboration saw the two companies team up on a portable speaker. The speaker is capable of the recording and playback of small loops, as well as coming with a range of Off White branded accessories such as a strap and carry case. 

Gibson x Triumph

The collaboration between Gibson Guitars and Triumph Motorcycles saw each reissuing accompanying classic models from each of their most iconic ranges. Gibson produced a 1959 Les Paul reissue whereas Triumph made a 1959 Bonneville T120.

Each is a one-off design, drawing inspiration from one another. The guitar features the triumph logo on the pickups and the pickguard is stripped to resemble the motorcycles cooling fins. The motorcycle mimics the guitar’s sunburst finish with an orange paint job, while the seat includes small holders for your guitar picks. 

Fender x Lego

The Fender and Lego collaboration saw Lego producing build-your-own sets of the iconic Fender Stratocaster. Standing at 35cm high, the models include two colours for the body, red and black, as well as an accompanying stand, amplifier and foot switch to complete the kit.

The Stratocaster Lego kits make for a great gift or activity for any guitar lover.


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Shure x Supreme

Next on the list is another supreme collaboration, this time with Shure, the iconic manufacturer of dynamic microphones  and the industry standard when it comes to live performances.

The collaboration with Supreme saw the release of the classic Shure SM58 customised to look like the red Supreme logo. The Supreme x Shure microphone saw a limited release as part of Supreme’s seasonal drops in 2020.

Fender x Game of Thrones

Fender teamed up with popular TV series Game of Thrones to release classic Fender instruments with designs inspired from the show. The range includes a Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Jaguar each styled after the prominent ‘houses’ featured in the show.

The Stratocaster is based on House Targaryen, with the sigil of a dragon. The Telecaster is based on House Stark, whose sigil is a wolf. And finally the Jaguar, based on House Lannister, featuring a sigil of a lion. 

Korg x Nintendo

Korg and Nintendo have a standing relationship beginning with the Nintendo DS. Korg has released official ‘games’ and emulators of their classic synthesisers, drum machines, and effects on both the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Switch.

The Korg Gadget software is available on the Switch, and is the closest thing to a DAW on a home console that we have ever seen. Not only does it support the playing and tweaking of synthesiser plugins, it also allows for sequencing, mixing, and post production.

Marshall x Raymond Weil

The high end watch maker Raymond Weil teamed up with Marshall Amplifiers to produce a stylish limited edition run of wrist watches.

With only one thousand produced, the watch was featured in Raymond Weil’s music icon series. The design of the watch borrows from the Marshall aesthetic of black with gold trim. 

Squier x Hello Kitty

Perhaps the most infamous of all unusual collaborations is the Hello Kitty Squier Stratocaster. Produced from 2006 to 2009, the Hello Kitty Strat soon reached cult status, thanks to the abundance of heavy metal covers soon being uploaded to YouTube and channels such as Loud Wire getting legendary guitarist such as Zakk Wylde to play with it.

These days, the Hello Kitty Strat sells for upwards $800.

Roland x Puma

Legendary synth manufacturer Roland collaborated with Puma, the sportswear and shoe brand, to produce shoes inspired by the iconic Roland TR-808 drum machine. The two pairs of shoes draw inspiration from the design of the 808, mainly the white, yellow, red, and orange step keys of the sequencer.

 One design is brightly coloured with larger patches of solid colour, whereas the other is much more subtle, being mostly black with the Puma stripe including the colours. These shoes would make any 808 or Roland enthusiast happy. 

Gibson x Louis Vuitton

Another crossover between a fashion label and a guitar manufacturer, this time between Gibson and Louis Vuitton. The pair of 1959 Les Paul reissues were created to be displayed at the Louis Vuitton store in Nashville, Tennessee.

One is adorned with the Louis Vuitton ‘LV’ logo, whereas the other has a white, red, black, and blue design, reminiscent of the clothing they produce. 

Akai x Supreme

Okay we promise this is the final collaboration between Supreme and an instrument manufacturer. The Supreme Akai MPC again is a regular MPC 2 but made to look like the Supreme red box logo.

Given the relationship between fashion, the MPC range, and hip hop, the MPC supreme makes sense as a limited range for fans of hip hop and streetwear.

Audio-Technica x Marvel

The pro audio manufacturer Audio-Technica collaborated with Marvel for the release of the Iron Man-inspired M50X monitor headphones and ATH wireless earbuds. The palette of gold and red, reminiscent of Iron Man’s armour, were used for the limited series.

Ibanez x HR Giger

Japanese guitar manufacturer Ibanez collaborated with renowned artist HR Giger for a series of guitars inspired by his distinct art style. HR Giger is perhaps most well known for his work on the film Alien, helping to design the alien and set pieces for the movie.

Each guitar features different artwork in the classic HR Giger biomechanical style.

Fender x Neon Genesis

In 2020, Fender produced a Telecaster in the style of Asuka from the popular ‘90s anime, Neon Genesis: Evangelion. The finish of the guitar is styled after the character and their accompanying battle mech. Red and orange with a coloured striped pickguard adds an industrial aesthetic.

For the 12th fret inlay, the guitar features the words ‘Eva 2’, which is the character’s call sign in the show. The guitar comes with a certificate of authenticity as well as graphics of the character with the guitar itself. 

See the full Fender and Lego collab here.