BilT Guitars is owned and operated by Bill Henss and Tim Thelen in Des Moines, Iowa. Rather than go into the usual bio stuff, we thought you might like a look at our philosophy about making guitars.
We're a small company
Unless the proverbial ship comes in, you will more than likely be talking directly to the guy who is going to be carving your neck. You know, we actually like it that way because we can find out exactly what you need and deliver it. We actually care. In our opinion, the best marketing is word of mouth. We will go to great lengths to make sure you are satisfied with your guitar. Happy owners make better music and that makes us happy… so we’re all happy.
We employ the latest building techniques as of about 1949 which includes hand tools and some machines powered by induction motors. Not to say we wouldn’t love having all of our parts arrive via long slow boat from china and we just assemble and pay for magazine ads. That’s just not in the cards, so we have to make everything by hand.
No fancy dancey woods
Not that we don’t appreciate the beauty, there are just plenty of folks making guitars with AAAAAAA, double star, prehistoric growth, eyeball flipping, got it from the bottom of a swamp etc. grades of woods. We drive to our supplier, sort through stacks of alder & maple and pick out nice plain clear boards that rock your face off.
We're open to your ideas
If it weren’t for customers asking us to do oddball stuff like shove effects into their guitars, we wouldn’t be building. Lord knows there are enough companies and individuals out there making regular old guitars. So if you have crazy ideas about what is possible for your guitar give us a try.
How a BilT is built
Every BilT guitar is hand crafted one at a time. We enjoy the process, and we feel that the process makes the product. If you'd like to see what's involved in hand crafting a guitar, check out the progress images below.
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