965 Guitars in the Newbo district.

Growing up in Cedar Rapids in the late 80’s and early 90’s, we had a number of unique  places to pick up musical instruments. My buddy Rhett and I would spend a ton of time at Somewhere in Iowa guitars, Carma Lou’s, The Music Loft, and West music.  Sometimes we’d hit them all just to see what we could dig up.

Unfortunately, most of the old shops are gone but, hope springs eternal and we are yet to see “mom and pop” call it a day. 965 guitars has brought back the guitar shop feel I remember as a teenager and while you can grab strings or guitar picks, the conversation and interesting stable of equipment and instruments is what will keep you heading back.


Darwin  Lindahl originally set up his shop on route 965, thus the name, and serviced the markets between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.  He had an opportunity in early 2017 to move the shop into the Newbo district and quickly established himself as a much needed addition to the area.

Photo By Jeremy Glazier

His knowledge of each instruments he stocks is refreshing and he is quick to point out where, how, and what they are made of, and why it matters.  While you may find select few “big name” instruments in the shop, the quality and tone of his inventory would give the said “big names” a run for their money for a fraction of the cost.  He stocks the shop with instruments that sound and look great and will be more than happy to dive into the subject with whoever walks in the door.

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He’s as proficient with major repairs as he is with a simple fret buff out, or instrument set up to get it into playing shape.  His inventory of acoustic or electric guitars, as well as the amplifiers, accessories, ukuleles, will fit most budgets while proving a solid instrument and a great experience for the buyer.  And, if you just can’t decide on something that’s in the shop, ask him about making you something custom that will be exactly what you want.

Had I meet Darwin earlier, my guitar collection would probably look much different and, cost me much less that what it did.  Whatever your musical needs, get down to 965 in Newbo and see what I’m talking about.  You wont be disappointed that you did.

Darwin Lindahl – Owner

1120 2nd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401


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