I have a circuit that I'm using to detects "knocks" using a piezo element. It seems to work adequately, but as I half suspected, I have now demonstrated that it's possible for the piezo element to generate excess signal (I'm assuming voltage, since they don't really generate much current do they?) and destroy the first op-amp input stage.
I don't really care about the actual signal waveform, but I'm anxious not to introduce delays (the key part of this is an attempt to measure the arrival time of a shockwave at various points in a piece of steel.) So, currently I'm considering adding two 5v1 zeners (because that's what I happen to have lying around) nose-to-nose across the inputs. So, the effect would be like this:
Everything to the right of the zeners is working at present, and I'm confident that limiting the input swing to 5.8 volts will not, of itself, adversely affect the rest of the circuit's ability to do its job.
Are there any concerns that I'm missing here? Again, I do care about response time and must avoid adding lag to the system, but I don't care about distortion, or signal following accuracy, in any of the traditional "amplifier" kinds of ways.
Edit, I transcribed a subset of my actual circuit, intending to focus on the bit that I was interested in (i.e. just up to the first op-amp's input), and I fear that this was not clear. However, I also discovered, thanks for the feedback, that I had made an error in transferring my test circuit to my final. I had omitted the ground connection on the positive input to the op-amp. Oddly, it works (seven copies of it) seemingly just fine like that. Clearly, however, that needed fixing :)