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I have a Dean electric guitar (couldn't find it on their website, sorry) with a 3 position switch, 2 knobs, and 2 double humbuckers. I know what the switch does, but am confused about the knobs.

I am aware that with two knobs, one is for volume and one is for tone, but my knobs either push in or pull out. I have Googled some and haven't found anything else like this. One knob controls volume and it appears the other controls tone, but I'm unclear on how pushing them down or pulling them up affects things. What do these knobs do then, in either of their settings?

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1 Answer

Most likely they are "coil tap" switches, one for each pickup.

If so, these engage a bypass in the wiring of the humbucking pickups that either 1) completely removes one of the two humbucking coils from the circuit, turning the pickup into a single-coil pickup, or 2) bypasses some of the coil windings in the two coils, resulting in a lower level of signal output and a thinner tone with more pronounced harmonic content.

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A possible additional function, which I have on one of my guitars is to switch between modern and traditional tones using different circuits for the signal path. –  Dr Mayhem Apr 5 '13 at 23:45
That would involve different capacitors for tone controls in a passive design, or active equalization in an active design (if your Dean guitar has a compartment for an internal battery, then there is an active tone circuit or preamp on board.) –  Wheat Williams Apr 6 '13 at 1:47
It's also possible that one is a polarity invert switch like Jimmy Page used to wire in. –  Todd Wilcox Apr 8 '13 at 19:12
Maybe. The Jimmy Page mod is not likely to be found on a stock import Dean guitar. –  Wheat Williams Apr 8 '13 at 19:14
I think coil-tap is the correct answer especially in light of the humbucking pickups. However, I have an old Yamaha with 2 single coil pickups that has a shared push/pull tone pot which makes the tone "brighter" (they have separate volume, and an 3-position toggle for mix) –  horatio Apr 9 '13 at 18:22
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