BilT Guitars - An Introduction

Published on 23 January 2023

Who are BilT guitars and what’s up with that capital ‘T’? 

As guitarists, we all love discovering a new brand that instantly makes us fall in love with their craftsmanship. When we came across BilT guitars, it was a no-brainer to become a dealer for their incredible instruments. The brains behind BilT are hidden in plain sight, founded in 2008 by two luthiers by the names of Bill Henss and Tim Thelen, which when combined - make up the name of the brand! There’s your answer to the strange capitalisation within their name! Based in Des Moines, Iowa, BilT pride themselves in being the guitar brand for custom guitars made entirely by hand, sacrificing no inch of quality in the process of building the most eye-catching of instruments. 

The ultimate custom guitar brand 

BilT pride themselves in going over and above in their custom-shop builds, working with their customers' unique orders to create guitars that are truly amazing and going as far as making double necked models with a guitar on one neck and a bass on the other! Of course, it's not all crazy and wild builds: custom orders allow you to choose the wood, colour, pickguard, pickup types, brand and even the circuitry of your chosen guitar! Nothing beats the chance to get your hands on a guitar that is 100% made to your tastes! Overall, each guitar is handbuilt with a turnover of approximately 90 days per guitar! 

For those that are less inclined to test their own tastes, we happen to have a brilliant selection of BilT guitars that are already built to the highest of standards! Why not try them out for yourself? Just call your nearest store and see what models we have in stock!


Our Models 

At guitarguitar, we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on a selection of BilT guitars much to our own excitement! Needless to say, they play just as great as you’d think!

S.S. Zaftig  

With the word ‘Zaftig’ being used to define something as having a full, rounded figure - it’s fair to say that the S.S. Zaftig earns its title! When you first look at the Zaftig, it’s hard not to see the inspiration taken from the most influential guitars in history. Well, that’s exactly what BilT aims to deliver with its guitars, showcasing the very best qualities of the most classic guitars and blending them together with the craftmanship you’d expect from a high-end U.S. brand. 

Using a roasted alder to create its perfect hollow-body alongside roasted maple for the neck, BilT not only knows the recipe to create an exquisite tone, but also ensure the best quality of woods within their designs! Of course, a US-made model wouldn’t be complete without the secret to its incredible sound - that’s why the S.S. Zaftig is fitted with none other than Lollar Pickups, handwound with the best components available! Keeping it classic in the neck with a Lollar Jazzmaster single coil, but providing that well modern edge to the guitar with a wide range Jazzmaster humbucker, perfect for that extra all-American punch in your tone, and definitely a unique take for a JM style guitar sound! 


The Revelator is similar to the Zaftig in terms of shape, bridge and choice of wood, but sticking with the classic solid body and introducing a pair of Mojo Firebird Sized Gold Foil Mini Humbuckers for some 60s edge into the mix. Mojo pickups allow for the BilT Revelator to handle almost every tone you could possibly need, from the cleanest of cleans to the fuzziest of fuzz. Handwired in the UK, it's clear that BilT are actively searching far and wide to build the best custom guitars in the game. 

The reputation of BilT's custom guitars have reached the hands of many incredible guitarists, including Taylor York of Paramore, Will Wagner of The Smith Street Band, and Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit!


These guitars have blown us away by what they offer in terms of customisation, tone, and build quality, it's no wonder that many high-profile guitarists are taking them on as their main axes! We can’t wait to see how you like these beauties! We’re sure you’ll love them just as much as we do!

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