Guitar Mod (2 Tone caps, & Push-Pull pot)

This simple Push Pull Modification 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 the Fralin “Magic Cap” (0.0015mF) or any others, 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

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

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.

Which value to choose?

As stated earlier, there are a plethora of tone caps available at your disposal. Most of the time, we’re talking about Microfarads. We, as guitarists, have found this capacitance level the most useful for shaping your tone. Our lowest value tone capacitor that we have is the Fralin Magic Cap, which is .0015 Microfarads (mfd). This low capacitance cap really doesn’t roll off a ton of highs – it’s impeding most of the pickups’s signal, only allowing a little to pass through to Ground.

Larger value caps will reject less of your pickup’s signal, and allow more to pass to Ground. For instance, Fender historically used .047mfd, .1mfd, and .02mfd as a standard cap value, and Gibson has used .022mfd and .047mfd as a standard cap value. A larger cap value (.1mfd) will start to roll off high frequencies faster, and go deeper into the midrange than a lower cap value (.02mfd).

The higher the value of cap, the deeper the roll-off of high frequencies will be. A .02mfd Cap will roll off just your highs, where a .1mfd will roll deep down into your midrange.

What type of Cap to choose? 

There are, again, a plethora of them out there. From the circular tone caps, to the cylindrical oil and paper caps, some caps going for well over $100 for them, there’s enough to make your head spin. We could spend all day comparing these, but what Lindy says is this:

“The type of cap is not as important as the value of the cap, for guitar. In an Amp, your cap type is much more important, as the signal is being passed through the cap all the time. In a guitar, you’re not hearing the cap itself, you’re hearing what the cap is impeding”.

So, for our sake, we prefer the more affordable simple caps, pictured above. They’re good enough for us, but, we’d love your thoughts as well. Let us know what cap value you like below!

CTS Pots:

CTS® has a new type of Push Pull pot, which can make wiring a little easier. CTS made these contact points easier to reach, so you can fit this pot in more guitars. However, if you’re not familiar how it’s all connected, it can be a little confusing. Here’s what it looks like:

CTS-Push-Pull-new

Instead of running your jumper wires to tiny little lugs, you can run them to full-size holes. The order is a little different, but all the concepts are the exact same.

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