2 Tone Caps, 1 Push Pull Pot

Happy November! This month, we’re talking about a really cool simple Push-Pull Modification that allows you to choose between two cap values for your guitar. The 2 Tone Cap Push-Pull Pot Mod is great on a Strat or Telecaster, where you might have a Master Volume and a Blender Pot, but still want the capabilities of two Tone Caps.

This modification also is great for those who want to use our Magic Cap on the Bridge pickup. Simply pull up (or push down) to select the right tone cap that will work best for the pickup you’re playing on. The 2-Cap Push-Pull mod is simple to do, and an easy way to get more versatility out of your guitar!

Here’s what you’ll need to perform the mod:

  1. 250K / 500K Push-Pull Pot
  2. 2 Separate Tone Caps
  3. Cloth / Insulated Lead
  4. Soldering Pencil and Basic Soldering Skills

2 Tone Cap Push-Pull Mod:

Here’s how to wire up the Two-Tone Cap Push-Pull Mod. See below:

Two Tone Cap Push Pull Pot Mod

HOW IT WORKS: 

In order for a tone pot to work, you need input to the pot (this can be through a wire or a cap in traditional uses), and one of the legs to ground the cap. This allows the high frequencies to be sent to ground, thus giving you a darker tone.

Here’s how the 2 Tone Cap Push-Pull Pot Works: The Input comes from the switch or volume pot, depending on what setup you have. The signal enters the pot via the middle lug. Lug 3 connects the pot to the switch section, which connects to the Common Terminals (B & E).

Pushing The Pot Down will connect the Common Terminals to selected Cap 1. This cap has one leg on terminals C & F, and its other leg connects to ground. Likewise, pulling up on the switch connects the Common Terminals to A & D, which relates to cap 2.


Well, that’s it! Pretty easy, and it’s a very usable modification to your guitar. We hope you find it useful! Cheers!

Written By:

Tyler Delsack

Tyler Delsack is the Manager of Fralin Pickups and spends his time editing and maintaining the website, designing graphics and ads, and making pickups. He's powered by Jazz Guitar, Vietnamese Food, Hiking, and Beer.

Author's Note: These blog posts are for educational and information purposes only. We do not offer custom wiring diagrams or wiring help or troubleshooting. For this, we recommend going to a local luthier or tech.

11 Comments

  1. I’m using a CTS push pull with a fender jazz. Nothing is happening. Regardless of if it’s push or pulled, rolled on or off the tone is still like I don’t have a time pot. Please help it’s driving me mad

  2. Tyler, sorry for the question about push/pull treble bleed. I found your post on that. Thanks again!……K

  3. Hey Tyler, I like the idea of having two different tone caps available. In standard strat wiring it looks fairly simple for two tone pots to share one cap. With the push/pull pot is it possible, lets say, to have the neck and middle pickups on one tone control and the bridge on the other and share the selected capacitor value on the push/pull pot? Also, could you use a push/pull pot on the volume control and have a treble bleed on one selection and one without? Thanks for your great site!

    1. Victor,

      The pot input is sort of the output in this case – all a tone pot is doing is acting like a “drain” for high frequencies. When you start to roll the pot, highs are being sent to ground. They don’t need a traditional output wire.

      Tyler

      1. Hi,

        So if I understand you correctly the middle lug of the pot is the input, and the output to the next pot or output-jack at the same time? For both versions? And I need an output wire to the output-Jack. It would be great for a lot of people if you can adjust the pictures above just for us physics-dummies 😉 Thanks in advance.

  4. Hi Tyler,

    I just received the drop in pickguard with the split rails. Two vintage pups in neck and center, and the hot one in the bridge. I didn’t even realize I had the push pull mod until I was peeling off the plastic of the new pickguard and the tone pot pulled up. I checked my order and sure enough I have the tone cap mod.

    I understand it’s selecting between two different capacitors, but sonically, I can’t hear what it does.

    Can you explain to me please?

    Thanks!

    Phoenix

    1. Hey Phoenix,

      The two tone cap mod allows you to select two different tone cap values, depending on your switch. For example – let’s say you want a darker roll-off, like a .05mfd cap – and you also want a more subtle roll-off, with a .02mfd cap. This mod allows you to select the .05mfd cap when pushed down, and .02mfd when pulled up. If you chose the “magic cap”, you’ve requested the most subtle roll-off, and it’s hard for a lot of people to hear the difference.

      Tyler

  5. I’m looking to do this tone mod with Fralin Jazzmaster (Stock) pickups in a Fender Offset Special but could use some advice. Because this guitar originally came with humbuckers and does not have the typical Jazzmaster rhythm circuit I will be re-wiring it using the Fender Professional wiring schema (consisting of 3-way switch, 1 volume pot (250k) and 1 push-pull tone pot (250k) for the tone mod) and am looking for tone cap suggestions to still achieve the most Jazzmaster-like lead and rhythm tones with this limited setup. I am thinking .1mfd and .022mfd would provide a wide range from dark to bright. Any thoughts on other combinations?

    1. Hey Ken,

      I think you’re off to a good start with these Cap values. .1mfd will be really dark, and start rolling off high end quicker. .022mfd is a good way to tame some of the highs / high mids.

      Tyler

      1. I ultimately decided on .047mfd and .022mfd for this modification using the stock Fralin Jazzmaster pickups and could not be happier with the results. The balance of darkness and brightness provides a versatility of tone that the control pattern on this guitar could not otherwise have provided. Fantastic article and guidance! Thanks!

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