5 Push Pull pot Mods You Should Know Cover Image

5 Push-Pull Pot Mods You Should Know

Push-Pull pot mods are a quick way to add new tones and a fresh new take on your guitar. Push-Pull modifications can open up a new world of tonal personality for your favorite instrument. We’ve noticed that our customers love getting push-pull pot modifications installed on their Prewired Pickguards and Prewired Control Plates. We thought we include our top 5 Push-Pull Pot Mods that you should know!

Before we get started, if you haven’t checked it out already, take a moment and learn how Push-Pull Pots work here. In essence,

A Push-Pull Pot is a normal pot that features an independent switching section attached to it.


PUSH-PULL POT MOD #1:

Coil Splitting With A Resistor

Coil Splitting with a 7K Resistor
Coil Splitting with a 7K Resistor

We know, Coil Splitting is in that category of “no-brainer” push-pull pot mods. However, coil splitting doesn’t work correctly across all humbucker designs. Certain humbuckers, like low-output humbuckers (like our Pure P.A.F.), do not give you a usable single-coil tone when split. Splitting a low output humbucker usually leaves you with a thin-sounding single coil that clocks in at around 4K. The tone that comes with it is not very usable at all.

However, using a 7K resistor in series to ground provides you with more a 6K Single Coil, much more in line with our Vintage Hots and Blues Specials!


MOD # 2:

2 Tone Caps, 1 Push-Pull Pot Mod

Two Tone Cap Push Pull Mod
Two Tone Cap Push Pull Mod

Hungry for more tonal options, but don’t have space? No worries! This Push-Pull Pot mod features two-tone caps – one value in the down position, another value in the up position. Many customers use this mod and select the 0.02mfd in the down position for a traditional Strat Tone, and Lindy’s Magic Cap in the up position for another tonal world.


MOD #3:

PHASE REVERSING WITH A PUSH PULL POT

Phase Reverse Push Pull Pot Modification

Another cool mod you can perform with a Push-Pull pot: Phase reversal. It allows you to reverse the phase of a pickup to create new, creative sounds. The best part? You can reverse back to normal! Performing this mod requires your pickups to have a separation between your coil and ground. For an article on this, check out our previous post here. 

Another quick tip: if you want to use this modification with a Blender Pot, check out this article here – it allows you to blend the out of phase tone with an in-phase tone!

PUSH-PULL MOD #4:

Engage / Disengage Volume Kit

Volume Kit Push Pull Pot Mod
Volume Kit Push Pull Pot Mod

Our Volume Kit is a Treble Bleed kit that allows your pickups to stay bright when you roll down your volume pot. When you roll your volume pot down with regular 250K pots, your high frequencies tend to go down with the volume. Your tone gets darker and jazzier.

Some guitarists like when the tone gets darker; however, many guitarists do not. Some guitarists want to keep their high frequencies where they are. The Volume Kit comes in here – it keeps your high frequencies steady as you roll down the Volume Pot. However, the Volume Kit can increase the brightness of your guitar permanently.

The Engage / Disengage Volume Kit Mod allows you to choose whether or not you want the Volume Kit on! The diagrams above let you choose whether you would like your Volume Kit on or off by default.


PUSH-PULL MOD #5:

Bright Switch

Bright Switch Push Pull Pot Mod
Bright Switch Push Pull Pot Mod

The Bright Switch is a push-pull modification that makes your pickups and guitar sound a little more ‘full-throttle’ when pulled up. To perform the Bright Switch mod, you need a standard Volume Pot and a Push-Pull Tone Pot.

When the Bright Switch is in the down position, Lug 3 of the volume pot connects to ground. When the Bright Switch is in the up position, the connection to ground gets removed. Due to this, the pickups become brighter and more ‘hi-fi’ sounding.

Note: When the connection to Ground gets removed from the Volume Pot, your volume pot will not work like a normal volume pot. It will never fully turn your signal down 100%.


Well, that should about do it for this article. I just wanted to showcase a few mods that our customers are enjoying installed on their Prewired Strat Pickguards and Telecaster Control Plates. Let us know what other mods you’d like to see in the future, and I’ll try to draw them up! ‘Till next time.

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.

7 Comments

  1. What if you have a mErnie Ball DB boost that functions as a “push push” does that change anything?

  2. Gytis,thats exactly what that mod does.Basically.You can leave out the cap and ground lug d and get better results imo.

  3. Excellent article I learned things I never realized you could do with the Tone and Volume and you made it very simple to understand.

  4. Hi,
    great article! Do you have a suggestion on how to wire a push-pull tone pot, where it’s bypassed in the down position and engaged in the up position? Kind of like the bright switch I guess, but with the volume pot always active and only the tone being toggled on or off.
    Thanks

  5. Hi there.
    This article is a fantastic help when considering all kinds of modifications that improve the range of tonal choices to be able give to my clients, so many, many thanks for this.
    I wondered also if you have any suggestions for the above kind of modifications on a Telecaster La Cabronita with 2 TV Jones original humbucker pickups.
    Many thanks. Keith

    1. Hey Keith,

      Thanks for reading! As it turns out, each one of these mods will work on a Telecaster with TV Jones’s pickups installed. Just make sure you have the right kind of lead installed.

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