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 Post subject: Why was 6L6 not used more in hi fi amps?
PostPosted: May Mon 31, 2021 11:59 pm 
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I see them in guitar amps often, but in hi fi with octal tubes, I usually see 6V6--why? 6L6 has double the power, so wouldn't it be more advantageous to use them instead?

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 Post subject: Re: Why was 6L6 not used more in hi fi amps?
PostPosted: Jun Tue 01, 2021 12:05 am 
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The 6L6 was used in many higher power HiFi amps. For most, the 6V6 was sufficient, and the system of course cost a lot less. The jump up to 6L6 required beefier power supplies, output transformers, etc, so it made for a much more costly amplifier. When selling mass quantities of a product, the manufacturers target the audience they think will buy the most, and that was the 6V6 crowd.

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 Post subject: Re: Why was 6L6 not used more in hi fi amps?
PostPosted: Jun Tue 01, 2021 12:15 am 
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tubes4life wrote:
I see them in guitar amps often, but in hi fi with octal tubes, I usually see 6V6--why? 6L6 has double the power, so wouldn't it be more advantageous to use them instead?


6V6's were quite popular in a variety of better quality guitar amps. A lot of players like them because the break up earlier than the 6L6's.

Power and volume don't follow a linear relationship, but rather a logarithmic one. So a lower power amp can sound almost as loud as one with twice the rated power output. More power can provide better handling of music peaks, but comes at a greater expense to the manufacturer. I assume this was all factored in some manufacturers decision to use the less expensive tube.


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 Post subject: Re: Why was 6L6 not used more in hi fi amps?
PostPosted: Jun Tue 01, 2021 12:48 am 
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It's mainly a matter of demand - the less expensive 6V6 and 6BQ5 amplifiers outsold the higher power ones using 6L6, EL34, 6550. So that's what you see. Most manufacturers did have models with 6L6 - let's see ...Altec, Bogen, Craftsmen, EICO, Fisher, Grommes, Harman Kardon, and so on. By the early '60s, the smaller 7591 and 7868 tubes replaced the 6L6 at the 25-40 watt power level - saved space and cost less.

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 Post subject: Re: Why was 6L6 not used more in hi fi amps?
PostPosted: Jun Tue 01, 2021 1:06 am 
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Joined: Aug Tue 24, 2010 8:56 pm
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Thanks, guys. So I see it was a cost-saving move--I didn't realize it would cost significantly more to use 6L6.

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 Post subject: Re: Why was 6L6 not used more in hi fi amps?
PostPosted: Jun Tue 01, 2021 6:00 am 
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Nevertheless, it is still used in amplifiers today.

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 Post subject: Re: Why was 6L6 not used more in hi fi amps?
PostPosted: Jun Wed 02, 2021 11:00 pm 
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From my old magazines and books it looks that 6L6's and all his variants (5881 ,7581 , KT66 , 807,...) were widely used in Hi-Fi amplifiers, actually much more than 6V6's which had very limited power capacities.


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