Matthews Effects // The Cartographer
The Cartographer by Matthews Effects has quickly become a personal favorite of mine. It was inspired by an old Pearl OD-05, but has the flexibility to achieve a variety of tones from a transparent overdrive to a tubescreamer-style that cuts through a mix.
The Cartographer’s tone doesn’t fit into any super unique or signature mold, but you’ll still be impressed by how great it sounds and how clearly it speaks. Because it’s not a signature sound, Matthews Effects was able to give it a surprisingly wide range of usable tones that all sound equally awesome. If you’re on a budget, this could easily be your only drive pedal.
The parametric EQ makes it adjustable for any guitar, amp, or room. Different guitar/amp combos can make some overdrives difficult to work with because they boost certain frequencies too much…you’ll never have that issue with the Cartographer.
Even though it may seem minor, all the jacks are on the top of the pedal (power, input, output). It’ll help you have a cleaner board and maybe even squeeze an extra pedal on it. The knobs are a little small and sit away from the pedal a little, it feels funny to me, but that could easily just be my own preference!
This is a great pedal for any worship guitarists board. When it’s dialed in well, it can be a transparent boost and an aggressive drive just by changing your touch. You know this will work well with your gear at home AND with the church’s house amp because of its flexibility. It’s more expensive than many overdrive pedals, but at a very competitive price in the boutique market.