Piezo pickups are a great and inexpensive way to “electrify” an instrument, but they don’t have a lot of output. A preamp is normally used to boost the signal to a more usable level.
Instead of installing a preamp on every instrument that I make, I decided to make a pedal.
I used a piezo preamp system that would normally be installed on an acoustic guitar. I also used a heavy duty triple pole double throw(3PDT) stomp switch, an LED, a resistor, a metal enclosure, and an extra mono jack.
The piezo preamp is an inexpensive model that I bought online.
I cut out a hole for the preamp and drilled holes for the jacks and switch. The preamp is now smaller because I trimmed off the 9V battery compartment.
This mess is my prototype to make sure that everything is working properly.
By stepping on the switch, you toggle between the two settings which are as follows:
[Setting 1] LED off. Preamp off. Bypass preamp.
[Setting 2] LED on. Preamp on. Through preamp.
I painted the enclosure with some leftover paint from this project.
I assembled and bench tested it.
It is now the first pedal in my pedal chain.
I wired it so that it would run off of the same 9V daisy chain that my other pedals use. (I try to avoid using batteries whenever I can.)
The preamp pedal is now a worthy, albeit somewhat bulky, addition to my pedal board.