Tim Thelen was ready to say goodbye to guitar making for good. But when a customer in the guitar repair shop he worked in asked him to add some effects to his instrument, Thelen couldn’t resist for long. Bilt Guitars was born shortly after.

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The Nadas, a Des Moines band that is enjoying some national success, were one of the first major bands to order from Bilt Guitars.

With only three full-time staff members to its name, this boutique guitar shop in Des Moines boasts an impressive client list.

Famous clients include Wayne Sermon (Imagine Dragons), Dave Keuning (The Killers), Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit), Nels Cline (Wilco), and many others.

Bilt Guitars offers four models of custom-made guitars.

The Nadas, tunes his guitar before a show at Wooly’s in Des Moines.

Pitch perfect? Mike Butterworth, singer and guitarist of The Nadas, tunes his guitar before a show at Wooly’s in Des Moines.

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Butterworth is ready to play his band’s show with the Bilt guitar.

Butterworth puts the final touches on his guitar.

Butterworth puts the final touches on his guitar.