November Mod Of The Month: 2 Tone Caps, 1 Push Pull Pot

Happy November! This month, we’re talking about a really cool and simple Push Pull Modification that allows you to choose between two cap values for your guitar. This modification 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

The Mod:

There are two different versions of this Mod. They will do the exact same thing. It all depends on your preference! See below:

Fralin 2-Tone Cap Push Pull Mod

How It Works: 

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

The Input comes from the switch or volume pot, depending on what setup you have. The signal enters the pot on Side 1, Lug B, and is either connected to A or C, depending on whether you have it pulled up or pushed down.

Pushing The Pot Down Will selected Cap 1. It will connect the input with C. The other side of the cap is connected either to F (Version 1) or ground (Version 2). Either way, one of the legs is the input, the other leg is the connection to ground. Likewise, pulling up on the switch will do the opposite.


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

7 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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

    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

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