Kiesel has announced the Sophie Lloyd Signature Series, a line of signature guitars for social media virtuoso and Machine Gun Kelly guitarist Sophie Lloyd that come with a customizable twist.
Lloyd’s model is based around Kiesel’s double-cutaway Aries silhouette, but makes a number of key tweaks to the formula – not least offering guitar players the option of spec’ing key components of the model themselves, something of a rarity among signature designs.
Guitarists can choose the guitar’s top wood, headstock shape and tremolo system, not to mention a dazzling array of finishes (purple being Lloyd’s favorite, natch).
At its core, however, the SL model is built around a chambered black limba body – which promises a rich mahogany-inspired tone minus the weight – and comes with a flame maple top with Kiesel’s trademark deep binding effect.
Neck-wise, you’re looking at single-piece walnut with a 25.5”-scale, 14”-radius royal ebony fingerboard, packing 24 stainless steel frets. Lloyd has spec’d Kiesel’s “Thinner” neck profile, too.
One of the key components of Lloyd’s signature is an Iron Age killswitch, located on the guitar’s upper horn – the Aries’ contours have been adjusted to accommodate the extra control.
You’ll also notice a modified control layout, which now plays host to a pair of switches for the onboard Sustainiac neck pickup, which delivers infinite sustain – an addition inspired by the likes of Steve Vai and Matt Bellamy that Lloyd describes as “what it would sound like if you put an alien in your guitar”.
Combined with the killswitch and optional tremolo system, it should make Lloyd’s model one fun instrument for solo theatrics.
It is, however, worth noting that the standard SL model comes with just a Hipshot fixed bridge and no Sustainiac – although you do get the kill switch. Standard pickups are Kiesel’s Lithium humbuckers, controlled via a five-way pickup selector and volume pot.
Lloyd – who is planning to release her debut solo album at the end of the year – launched a limited-edition A6H Aries model with Kiesel back in 2020, but strong sales prompted a full-scale signature release.
Back then, Lloyd told us what drew her to the Aries model in particular. “It’s got that shreddy shape that you’d get with an Ibanez, with the heel-cut,” she explained, “but it has the warm, rounded tone of a Les Paul type of guitar, which is perfect for me because I had a Les Paul before this and I loved the tone. I just wanted something that would lend itself towards fast playing and a full 24 frets.”
Sophie Lloyd models start at $2,699 – any preorders placed before the official launch on May 24 come with a signed poster.
Head to Kiesel Guitars for full customization options.