[interview] Sioux Guitars: Ryan Meyers

Here's FXDB's interview with Ryan Meyers of Sioux Guitars.

Sioux Guitars is run by Ryan Meyers in Sioux City, Iowa, USA.

How did Sioux Guitars start?

I started by reparing and moding effects. Just read everything I could on the topic.

Sioux GuitarsWhere do the name and logo come from?

The name comes from Sioux City, Iowa, my home town.

My step-daughter Lindsey designed the logo to pay tribute to the Native Americans that first lived here.

What sets Sioux Guitars apart from other builders?

Sioux Guitars offers Midwest value and huge tone. With our effects pedals, amps and reverb tanks you can have amazing tone at a great value. Our Gentleman’s Grooming products will keep you looking good as well. Nothing looks better than a Sioux Guitars work shirt, jacket, or t-shirt. Sioux Guitars believes in standing apart but standing apart doesn’t mean standing alone. Be you. Always be righteous and do the next right thing.

Red and white seems to be working for us.

Although our effects, amps, and cabs would be at home on a honky-tonk, bluegrass, blues, or metal stage, most of our clients are in the punk rock, rockabilly, alternative, and folk-Americana worlds. Sioux Guitars K-D Chorus

How do you start on a new pedal?

It depends. There really hasn't been a standard formula.

I listen to requests of the customers. The K-D Chorus only exists because Rikk Agnew asked for a killer chorus like he used on the Christian Death "Only Theater Of Pain" album.

How do you name your pedals?

Everything basically has Sioux City roots. Villa Ave is where the Cattle Club was. Court Street is where Kings Court was. I grew up at the Truck Stop. K-D Station was a Sioux City landmark. The Combination Bridge connects Sioux City, Iowa with South Sioux City, Nebraska. The Flood Of '53 flooded the Leeds and Springdale neighborhoods. Sioux City isn't the only town with railroads but the Line Switcher is a simple name for an A/B box in reference to the railroads. The amps are named for the big three packing houses that the majority of Sioux City's working class worked in, in the famous Sioux City Stockyards. Our reverb tank is darker and overdrives, and in the packing houses they have huge tanks for the cow hides to first remove the hair, tan, and soften the hides.

Sioux Guitars Combination BridgeCan you tell us something about the production process?

We use different fellows to get things done. One guy helps with cabinet building and tolexing. One guy helps with labeling and printing. One guy helps with soldering. Have a few cats who are jacks of all trades that help with anything and everything. We wouldn't be where we are if it wasn't for J-Dub, Miki, Rick, Tim Cox, Joey, Damn-it Dave, and the patience of my wife.

The circuits are hand wired on pcbs, the steel enclosures are powder coated and screened.

How important is the look of your pedals?

Again, the red and white is working for us.

Is parts selection important?

Try to use the best parts possible and looking for parts that will be available next month or next year.

Sioux Guitars Villa AveWhich of your pedals makes you most proud?

I personally like the sound of the  Villa Ave distortion and think it's a very versatile pedal going from a subtle overdrive to a glassy smooth overdrive with days of sustain.

I'm proud of the Hide Tanning Tank reverb since it's our own take on a tube reverb tank.

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

Research and design is always tricky and the hardest part of any build is sourcing parts. I always want to find the best parts, at the best prices, and I want a steady supply so I can keep an effect or amp in production.

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

The Sioux Guitars Truck Stop tremolo. Rockabilly cats love it. I like it with the speed and depth set half way giving you that Creedance Clearwater "Born On A Bayou" sound.

Sioux Guitars Truck StopWho uses your pedals and for which genres?

A lot of the tones I go for are forgotten tones and in the case of the Hide Tanning Tank reverb it's a new design of a reverb tank that not only does classic surf/rockabilly but gets into darker psychedelic tones. Everything I do I try to make as transparent as possible to let the tone of your guitar to sing through. I like seeing artists take forgotten tones into new sonic realms.

Users of our gear include: DGeneration, Cheetah Chrome, the Humpers, Rikk Agnew, Jeff Dahl, Greg Hetson, Stan Lee, Chuck Dukowski, George Tabb, the Toilet Boys, Reno Divorce, Sioux City Pete, and many more.

Folks just tell me they like the effects and amps.

What does the future of Sioux Guitars look like?

Coming this month the Sioux Guitars SCPD fuzz pedal.

Developing "The Duke" bass preamp with built in compression and crossover for Chuck Dukowski.

Developing the Sioux Guitars Dakota County delay pedal.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Also check out Effects Database's social media accounts: