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Push Pull Potentiometers

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Push pull pots are a combination of a normal potentiometer with a dpdt switch attached (99% of the push pull pots used in guitar wiring have dpdt switches). The switch, although, connected to the pot is actually completely independent from the potentiometer except for the actual switching motion that is controlled by pressing up or down on the pots shaft. Basically the switch part of a push pull is not related to the pot in any other way than the fact that the switches position is controlled from the shaft of the pot. This gives you the possibility for really creative ways of using the switch part of the pot. Continue reading to understand how the dpdt switch works on the push pull pot.

The Dpdt Switch Part of the Push Pull Pot

how a push pull potentiometer works

Dpdt stands for double pole double throw. Double pole means that there are two independent switchs being controlled by one switch motion and double throw means that the switch motion (the throw) goes between two positions with a common contact in the middle rather than just two contacts with no common contact. As you can see from the diagram on the right, when the push pull potentiometer is in the down position, the middle lugs make an electrical connection with the bottom lugs (the connection is shown as a red line). In the potentiometers up position the middle contacts make an electrical connection with the top lugs. You can see that there are two rows of three lugs. The two rows are independent of each other so they can be used to do seperate things, as an example, one row could be used as a coil cut for the neck humbucker and the other row on the same push pull potentiometer could be used to cut a coil of the bridge humbucker. This means that with a dpdt switch like the one on this push pull potentiometer has two seperate switches controlled by one up/down motion.


here is an example of how a push pull potentiometer can be used for coiling cutting. Notice how only one side of the dpdt part of the push pull potentiometer is needed to coil cut a humbucker. You could easily do the same wiring on the other row and coil cut two humbuckers as mentioned above. In this diagram, the potentiometer part of the push pull pot is wired as a volume control but could just as easily be wired to function as a tone control. As stated before the dpdt part of the push pull potentiometer and the potentiometer part function independently of each resulting in a huge flexability in the way they can be used. It is really an awesome little device!

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