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6L6

Sensibly equivalent to:
CV1948 VT-115
See also:
Beam Tetrodes and the 807 - Some Important British Valves - Valves in PA Equipment
    
Extras ▼

 

We believe RCA's metal 6L6 was the World's first true aligned-grid beam tetrode to reach Quantity Production status (around 1935).
A successful pre-production batch of the British (M-OV) type KT40 was produced at least a year earlier but its routine production was delayed and eventually abandoned because 'it was too difficult to assemble'.
Once RCA had showed that it could be done after all, M-OV copied the 6L6 with modifications thus producing the famous KT66.
The 6V6 receiver type of beam tetrode with which it shares pin connections is a derivative. This valve was mainly used for audio amplifiers.
The 807 was based on the RCA type 6L6 beam tetrode, which had a long, fairly thin, anode and a carefully-aligned grid structure. The 6L6 employed rapidly-accelerated electrons and short electron paths. This made it efficient but its characteristic had a distinct residual kink. It was a very successful valve but its characteristic was not quite straight enough to give the ultimate in audio quality at high output levels.
The KT66 was essentially a 6L6 redesigned with a larger cathode and a shorter, fatter anode. The KT66 had less rapid acceleration, longer electron paths, and almost no kink. It was ace for audio hi-fi.
A pair of 6L6's working in class AB2 push pull would deliver 47 Watts at 2% distortion. A lot of power in the 1940s and 1950s.
The metal tube hides the inner construction. Our all glass 6l6GT version has a description of the electrode construction.
The wide metal tube envelope is 30 mm in diameter and excluding the IO base pins, is 90 mm tall.
References: Datasheet and private correspondence. Type 6L6 was first introduced in 1936.

 

Pin Connections
IO
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
m
h
a
g2
g1
nc
h
k

 

Absolute Maximum Operating Conditions
Beam Tetrode
Vh
Ah
Va
Vs
Vg
mAa
mAs
ra
gm
Pout
D
6.3
0.9
350
250
-18
54
2.5
33K
5.2
11W
15%
Thanks to Frank Philipse for supplying the above PDF datasheet.
Updated December02, 2012.
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