The Bright Switch is a simple mod that you can add to any guitar that will make you go “woah!” as soon as you engage it. All you need is some basic soldering skills and a Push-Pull Pot that is the correct value (250K/500K) for your guitar. (More on Pots and Pot values here.)
What it does:
On the technical end, the Bright Switch removes the added Load from your Volume Pot and Tone Pot. We define “load” as anything that is consuming electricity. Your Volume Pot, even on 10, is sucking up some of your signal. By removing the load, the pot does not consume your signal anymore. It’s like connecting your pickups direct to your output jack and bypassing the electronics.
When pushed down, your guitar is working as normal. When you pull up, you remove the Ground off of your volume pot and tone pot. This is the same as sending your guitar’s signal straight to the output jack.
Tonally speaking, when you pull up, your guitar’s tone will get brighter, fuller, more aggressive, and beefier. It’s like a boost pedal wired in to your guitar. You’ll get more definition, pick attack, and more growl.
I’m sold. How do I do this Mod? Here’s how you wire this mod up. Please note that the pot on the left is volume pot, and the Push Pull pot takes the place of your tone pot.
When your Push-Pull pot is down, all the wiring is the exact same as a Strat or a Tele. The Signal enters Lug 1 of the Volume Pot. Lug 2 connects to the input of the Tone Pot and the Output Jack. When the switch is down, your signal goes through the Cap on Lug 3 and your highs get grounded, like a normal volume pot.
Note: Look at Lug 3 of the Volume Pot: you don’t ground that to the casing like you would a normal Volume Pot. Instead, a jumper goes to the Push-Pull, with the Grounded leg of the Cap.
When you pull up, the Load (ground) eliminates off of the Cap, the Push-Pull Tone Pot, and the Volume Pot. Essentially, your pickups connect to the output jack, with no load.
What happens if you don’t have a tone circuit in your guitar? You can use the Bright Switch on your Volume Pot only. Keep in mind that this won’t be as noticeable as removing your Volume Pot and your Tone Pot as well. Here’s how to wire it up:
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I am thinking of doing this to my bass. But from where does it get grounded to the output jack? Off of C? But that says ground to casing.
Also, can I make it so that it is true bypass when in the down position?
Hey Michael, make sure you run a ground jumper from the volume pot casing to the ground lug of the output jack. All metal chassis should be properly grounded. What the Bright Switch is doing is removing the ground connection from the resistance strip within the volume pot itself.
Regarding your second question, if you wanted to have the bright switch “on” all the time, rewire the push-pull section like so: instead of the Ground jumper on lugs C – F, wire the Ground jumper on lugs A-D. This way, in the down position, the ground will stay removed, unless pulled up.
This might be very interesting for a Gretsch special jet where two Dearmonds will be replaced bij Dyna P90. Ther is only threeway and master volume and tone. And I will have to replace the 250 pots with 500’s anyhow, and I have been shielding a bit.
Another option is toreverse the harness (now goig from PU’s to three way first and then to master volume and tone, then using the blender construction there. Is it true tahat when i put the blender at 70/100 the three positions wil blend like 70/30 50/50 and 30/70?
My LP Junior has a single P90. What specific parts (250k or 500k pot? What type of tone cap? etc…) will I need to do this mod?
I’m still new to guitar wiring and so there is a couple of things that confuse me about this mod.
I have a classical volume and 2 tone pot, neck/middle on tone 1 and bridge to the other tone pot. If I replace the second pot connected to the bridge by a push/pull for this mod, how can I relink the bridge pickup that was on the previous tone pot? Should I wire all 3 pickups to tone 1?
Thanks for all the info !
There are a few things you can do, but I would recommend making a Master tone in Tone pot 2 and a push-pull Bright Switch in position 3. I don’t have a diagram, but you should be able to get the idea by checking out our Stratocaster wiring diagrams.
I’d like to add this functionality to my Tele but i already have two push/pull pots – one for phase and one for split… can it be done with some other kind of switch? Cheers ?