It was developed by Bell Labs / Western Electric and used extensively as an I.F. amplifier in World War II radar systems. The tube is notable for its extremely fine grid, and extremely close control grid to cathode spacing, yielding excellent high-frequency performance.
A version of this tube with extended ratings was designated 6AK5W and 6Zh1P-EV (Russian: 6Ж1П-ЕВ) respectively.
Even though primarily intended for VHF amplification, the tube has found some use in audio applications as a microphone preamplifier, for instance in LOMO 19A9 microphone and in guitar effects stompboxes, such as Metasonix TM-7 Scrotum Smasher.
The 6AK5 was used in some types of radiosonde, (weather balloon payloads), in the 1960s and 70s. Because of the non-recoverable nature of the equipment, the single 6AK5 was soldered directly to the printed circuit board and served as the only active device in the circuit, performing the function of a low frequency modulation oscillator and the high frequency carrier oscillator and output stage.
- 6AK5 tube data (NJ7P database)
- 6AK5 at the National Valve Museum
- Reviews of 6ak5 tubes.
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