Electric Guitar/Violin Preamplifier

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

Magnetic pick-ups in musical instruments have a relatively high output impedance. This can result in a reduction in treble response when connected via a long cable run or to equipment with a low input impedance. This preamplifier provides a high input impedance and a low impedance output, solving both issues. It has adjustable voltage gain and can

Electric Guitar/Violin Preamplifier
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run off a battery or DC plugpack. The input signal is AC-coupled to the non-inverting input of IC1a, part of a TL074 quad op amp. This has JFET input transistors and the input impedance is set by a 330k © bias resistor which also sets the DC level at this input to half supply (Vcc/2). This is generated by a voltage divider comprising two 10k © resistors and bypassed by a 47 µF capacitor to reject noise and hum. IC1a is configured as a non-inverting amplifier with a gain of between 2 and 20, depending on the setting of VR1. IC1a`s output is fed to VR2 via a 22 µF capacitor, allowing the output volume to be set. The audio then passes to the non-inverting inputs of the remaining three op amps (IC1b-IC1d) which are connected in parallel to provide a low output impedance; it will drive a load impedance as low as 600 ©. The 100 © resistors in series with the outputs provide short-circuit protection for the op amps and also prevent large currents from flowing between the outputs in case they have slightly different offset voltages. The buffered signal is then AC-coupled to two output connectors using 47 µF electrolytic capacitors. For Output 1, a 47k © resistor sets the output DC level to ground and a 220 © series resistor provides further short-circuit protection. Output 2 is similar but includes another potentiometer (VR3) to allow its level to be set individually. Note that this means the impedance of Output 2 can be high (up...

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