This page's real name is 6N6P CLUB


First some facts: 6H6(Pi) is written in CYRYLLIC alphabet. That's why sometimes you can find the same tube written in latin which spells 6N6P.
To my knowledge this tube has been produced only in Soviet Union (the oldest sample I found was from 1974, the newest from 89.)
It is a genuine Soviet design, unlike most of their tubes which they copied from the West all the time. The closest equivalent is the Ecc182, E182CC although the pinout is different, .
We do not want to use the impulse variant 6N6P-i later named 6N30P. We want the good old 6N6P only.

ARG, which could use any tube they wanted, I mean ANY Soviet tube, uses 6H6P in all their designs and in all stages except output  ;-)


There was eve an abandoned plan to make a small amp with 6H6P as power tube  working in paralell into an output transformer as an AMPLIFIER. Ala TdParavicini's V12. Having said that the 6H6P can produce over 8 Watts of output power (from both halves together) and swing as much as 450 V. Compare it to 3 W from 6922/6DJ8/ECC tubes.

Russian_6H6POliver and Hardy - ECC82 and 6H6P

This tube can work at incredibly low voltages, i.e it is used in an input stage of a transistor (hybrid) amp with same power supply as for the output FET minus 50 V DC. It is possible in SRPP config upside down. But the main differenciator is current: It can take such big current, that would fry other tubes dead. So it is excellent as a driver for power tubes like 845, 300B or 6C33C.

6N6P Pinout

The general type is NOVAL (meaning with 9 pins) and the pinout is identical to many western novals like 6dj8, 6922, ecc88.
The parameters are comparable to ECC99-E182CC-12BH4.

noval pins

Like almost all novals, this tube is a dual triode meaning phisically two triodes packed side by side in one glass bottle.
To reduce cross-talk (i.e in stereo applications) they added a scereen between halves.

Screen in tubes 6N6P

There are two sub-groups of noval tubes: with screen and without.
The first group to which belongs most of the western novals, like ECC82, 81, 83, etc.  has the following pinout (clockwise from the bottom side)
Anode1, Grid1, Cathode1, heaterA, HeaterA (joined), Anode2, Grid2, Cathode2, heaterB.   It has no screen (dividing the A and B halves of the tube.)

The 6H6P has a different pinout , just like 6DJ8, 9622, E88CC, 6H30, 6H41P,  etc.
Anode1, Grid1, Cathode1, heaterA, heaterB, Anode2, Grid2, Cathode2, SCREEN.
The screen is usually grounded.

double triode


In modifications of existing gear, first thing to look for is wether the 4 th and 5th pins of the heaters are joined - this means first camp as described above . If they are separate - this is "6H6P camp".
To modify the i.e. ECC82 circuit to work with 6H6P - first cut the traces or wires joining pins 4 and 5, and cut the trace or wire leading to pin 9. Move the heating current from 9 to 5, keepingt the 4 as it was. So current will flow from pin 4 to 5 instead of from 4,5 to 9.


Second difference is heater (filiament) current. Almost all smal novals consume 300 mA 6,3 V  (ac or dc - does not matter). Our tube is a supertube and is double in lenght and has triple the electron emission surface. Hence it needs MORE power to heat the emmission area on the cathode. It needs twice the current and namely - nominal current is 750 mA @ 6,3 V (dc or ac does not matter).

So what do we do about the heater current during upgrade?

There are many possible scenarios.

Generally, most designs have big safety margins of specs. Isn't high-end all about OVER-SPECIFYING circuits?  You can just hope that the device (amp, preamp) will tollerate 350 mA more. It usually will.

There are two possible scenarios  -  if  IT WON'T:
A:  if the heater was a regulated DC type, the regulator will burn. Regulator is a three legged chip usually standing upright and with sink of some sort - own heatsing (radiator) or screwed to the chassis. In this case you buy  a  1 euro chip with higher specs, like instead of  7806 type - 78S06 (6 Volts, former is 0,5 A and latter 1,5 A). Use larger sink if possible.
B:  if heater was AC type (which can be easily checked by a meter) then it is fed directly from the transformer's secondary winding or even a separate transformer which is a better situation. The transformer is unlikely to burn the heater secondary, but it may start to buzz and overheat slightly. In such case it is time to install a separate transformer.
If there are two tubes in the circuit - it is very easy. We change the heater supply from 2 paralell 6,3 V to a series 12,6 V. For this we use a halogen lamp transformer from the shop or any other transformer with  minimum 10 VA and the secondary from the range between 12 and 13 V AC. We run it like this: one wire to tube 1 leg 4, then a small jumper from tube 1 leg 5 to tube 2 leg 4, and from tube 2 leg 5 to the transformer (second wire).  We adjust the voltage by a 3 watt resistors- ranging from 0,5 to 2 ohms. In most gear there is a room to add such transformer. It can be fed directly from AC socket without the main AC switch so the tubes will stay always warm and live longer. Plus the product will sound well immediately after switching it on, without the warm-up period.

A better option is to rectify the cirtcuit - meaning converting it to DC type. We just add a diode bridge (100 V / 4A or higher) It costs 1 Euro. We connect ac-ac to the transformer, and + / - to the capacitor (CRC filter) and then plus and minus to the two tubes - just like on the schematics of the lampizator:

We adjust the voltage to be 12,6 DC on the last capacitor when tubes are connected, by testing various resistors - the R (5W-1 Ohm or close value).


The 6H6P will inevitably sound better than any other small tube, with a reservation that whenever VERY HIGH GAIN is needed, 6N6P does not have high gain. Usually this is not a problem and one can accept it and enjoy it with medium gain.

For 6922 and 6DJ8 the improvement is so big it is beyond discussion. The main difference is that the sound becomes so easy, it FLOWS, it is liquid, open, spacious, rock solid, and very very natural. At the same time, in the first day or so, some people call the new sound "lazy". I do not agree but they get used to the nature of 6H6P and after - wild horses cant drag people away from the new sound.

The biggest and quickest improvement is over 6H30P - the tube popularized by BAT and its creator mr. Khomenko. He raves that 6H30 is a supertube, but in my opinion it is very coarse, hard and glassy by comparison. I hate 6H30 in circuits which I tried, including my own BAT VK-D5SE cd player. Anyone having BAT gear should immediately give 6H6P a try without any other circuit mods. You will be surprised.

I can not really comment about the exotic NOS tubes from the first league like the Telefunken and Siemens from 1950's and 60's which cost over 100 Euro a pop and are inconsistent in results. I guess the real exotica can get close or really better the 6H6P in asymptotic way and then it becomes a personal taste issue. What I can guarantee - is that "my" love tube will easily outperform each and every new noval tube there is.
The price of 6H6P in Poland ( is around 2,5 Euro and they are consistently perfect (I never had a rejected unit) and last forever (I never witnessed this tube die. I guess it lasts up to 10 years).

I guided some audiophiles to  exchange  all their small tubes in all BAT setup - cd, preamp and monos - and they were quite shocked how much better the system sounded. In their own description -the upgrade seemed twice as expensive  (meaning as if they swapped their 20 000 USD system for a 40 000 USD one).

Recent upgrade of a Copland preamp changed this nice machine from a hi-fi to high end. And so on and so on.
Next on my agenda is a conversion of Shanling CD Player from 6922 to 6H6P and then from tube triode cathode follower buffer to a true lampizator status.

For the I-out DAC types allways use 6N2P!

Story from Soren about 6N6 upgrade in Copland


Datasheet of 6N6P

Other datasheets

Interesting page in Polish

EXAMPLE CIRCUIT 1 - anode follower triode
EXAMPLE CIRCUIT 2 - cathode follower triode buffer
EXAMPLE CIRCUIT 3 - SRPP lampizator totem-pole

One shop with the tube:

November 12, 2006

6N*P family tubes from Soviet  Union

In july 2008 I decided to add the brothers and sisters of the mighty 6H6P -

The  brother tube 6N1P  (DATASHEET)

and the sister 6N2P   (DATASHEET)

Goddamnit, I hope that drunk Russian soldiers already sold all spare tubes from their military reserves to audiophiles and in case someone in Kremlin or a drunk General in the Dalnyi Vostok nuke base pushes the red button, NOTHING will happen. Only silence will respond. Because all missles will be  dead without the tubes. And the tubes will be singing Ella Fitzgerald all over the World.

Anyway, 6 stands for heater voltage 6,3 V, N stands for noval (I think)  and P stands for Palcevaya - it is a "small finger type" as opposed to old big octals. C in the end means stiekliennaya - Glass envelope. and the number after N is the modell number. We already know the 6, lets meet the 1 and 2.


The beauty of this tube is that is pin-compatible with not only 6N6P, but also with ECC 88, E88cc, 6DJ8, and 6922 popular tubes. The sound of 6N1 is more crisp and energetic than the sound of 6N6P and it is more easy and natural than that of the ECC 88, E88cc, 6DJ8, and 6922.

Another interesting feature is that it has been designed to be electrically identical to the most popular audio tube of all times - the American 6SN7GT.
Yes, the datasheet says - it is a drop in replacement for all 6SN7 circuits (except base of course   ;-)

So when designing new circuits we can be immediately familiar  with the behaviour of the 6N1P tube.

Usually - in amplifiers - I would use 6N1P as input amplifier and the 6N6P as driver (high current !!!)

The amplification  factor is circa 20 and I really like the sound from this tube used as lampizator with I out dacs, that is UNTILL I FOUND THE 6N2P   !!!!!!!!


It is worth noting that 6N1P tube has three variants: standard,6N1P,  long life - 6N1P-EB, and the impulse - 6N1P BU (Wi). The middle is the one to have, or at least the first, but NOT the impulse type.


Otbor tiehneecheskovo kachiestva - quality controll level - they used the stamp OTK followed by a number. The lower number the better. The zero is if I am not mistaken the best. Zero was strictly military;  one - also military but not for nukes, and so on. I would like to read more about this aspect one day.
Just don't forget that in the Soviet times for producing a faulty tube the worker could face 10 years in siberian labour camp in minus 50 degrees without gloves. These times were not funny at all.


Discovery of this tube was a shock for me. Nothing prepared me for such leap in quality. When designing my best hot-rodded superdac SATCH TUBED, I was researching alternative tubes and I found in the very end the one which thrashed them all - 6N2P.
It looks like typical small noval, but the SOUND !!!!! What a revelation. Everyone whom I subjected to test drive of 6N2P in their own gear commented that this can't be true. Such is the quality leap.
This tube is somewhat similar to ECC83 but beats it in quality hands down.

The very high amplification factor of 6N2P (100) predistines it to working with small input signals, such as from I OUT DACS. and in circuits with very high load impedance - like another tube grid.
Yes, the tube 6N2p is IDEALLY suited to work especially with the Wold's best DAC chips - TDA1540, TDA1541A,  TDA1541A/S1, TDA1541A/S2, AD1862, AD1865, PCM58, PCM63, PCM1702, PCM1704 and PCM1794.

This tube is absolutely not recommended to make lampizators for the U out DACs like the best of this kind CS4397, CS4398, AD1855, TDA1549, and Wolfson WM8740 and WM8741
For these DAC types - use LAMPIZATOR with 6N6P tube (6H6Pi).