Audio Research VT100 tube replacement

Hi everyone, I am new to tube amps and I need to re-tube this amp. I have discovered that some music lovers prefer the sound of NOS tubes over the ones Audio Research sells. I will have my Audio Research dealer bias the amp when I purchase the new tubes. My question is what tubes would some of you with more experience suggest. My musical tastes include pop, rock, dance and some classical. I do enjoy listening at moderate to higher volumes most of the time (don't know if that helps in choosing tubes). My preference would be for smooth sounding highs and mids with punchy bass, my ears are sensitive to higher frequencies and I find that I get listener fatigue very easily from a lot of different solid state and certain metal dome tweeters. Any suggestions would be much appreciated, also any tube retailers that you have had good experience with would be great. Thanks to all and happy holidays
great sounding amp, congrats! IMO I wouldn't mess around too much w/NOS unless you get them from someone who really knows how to competently test & truly match or you're asking for trouble. If you short an output tube (not fused in ARC) you'll toast a resistor & need repair$. I'd stick w/Ram Labs, ARC or Andy @ Vintage Tube Services & if it were me I'd go w/RAM Labs new production tubes & tweek the sound elsewhere.
Be cautious if still under warranty. ARC may require you use their tubes which I've been told are of superior quaility. But they are relatively
I have to agree from what I've read regarding tube rolling that a set that are not within the manufacturers tolerances could be costly trouble. I thought this post partially explains ARC & replacement tubes especially the last couple of comments.

That being said you want want to try the Gold Lion KT88 re-issues. Jim McShane does a great job of matching (and I'm pretty sure he knows ARC's specs). On the other hand if you want vintage tubes I really like the original Tung Sol 6550 solid black or grey plates. Very smooth highs - liquid mids with decent bass. Extremely musical tubes. Be aware those can be very expensive especially since you would need 4 matched pairs. I've also read the Shuguang Treasure KT88's have a punchy bass and a huge sound stage. I have no experience with them though.

Good Luck and happy holidays
What about the low power input tubes? Also is this a Mk 1/2 or Mk3 model? If Mk3,there is no real ability to tube roll the 6H30's as there are (virtually)no options for replacement of these. If the earlier Mk1/2 variant, then they use the very common 6922 which can be changed but again, finding two truly matched quads of these is going to be difficult and VERY expensive. Would stick with common modern offerings like Gold Lion or similar. Good luck.
I doubt a VT100 would still be under warrenty?
"I will have my Audio Research dealer bias the amp when I purchase the new tubes"

Let us know what dealer will do that - rare bird?
VT series is very difficult to rebias for the correct
tubes, let alone tubes that arent intended. See that VT100
(MaKE 1 at least )doesnt really bias at each tube- you just set the hole channel at once, and that is why well match tubes are needed.
I recommend sending your amp to ARC for tube replacement. They will match the tubes appropriately and make necessary adjustments. Your amp will return sounding the way it is supposed to sound. Sending your amp to ARC for tube replacement will cost more, but it will be worth it in the long run.
"I will have my Audio Research dealer bias the amp when I purchase the new tubes"

*Let us know what dealer will do that - rare bird?
VT series is very difficult to rebias for the correct
tubes, let alone tubes that arent intended*

To the OP, I'd ask, are you sure it needs needs new tubes? If so, all of them? I had a VT100 MKII. I put in new output tubes myself, & "biased" them. It's very difficult, to say the least. I did call Audio Research before that, & they quoted me a price of $500 (+shipping) to do it.

But yeah, I'd want to know the tech is first rate....
I bought a set of 6550's from a well known online seller for an ARC VT 100 mk2, and upon firing up the amp, blew a tube, which took out a resistor. So I had to send the amp to ARC for repair, and I bought tubes from them after all. So I wished I had just bought from them in the first place. If you buy from them, they are guaranteed not to fry your amp. So my advice, just buy from them, which means spending a little more, and getting well tested tubes.
In another thread I commented that when I service an ARC product I get my tubes from ARC. It saves a lot of grief. It's also a good insurance policy because if an ARC tube goes out and causes damage, ARC will cover the repair costs within the first 90 days. If I do the repair I get reimbursed by ARC and the customer pays nothing because it's under warranty. Just so you know Winged C 6550's are no longer available. I believe ARC is now using the KT-120 for that amp or the 6550WE. I recommend the KT-120's.
Thanks to all of you for your advice, and happy holidays to all of you. As for my amp it is a mk 2 and is not under warranty. Based on all the responses I will have ARC replace the tubes. I also found out from my ARC dealer that they warranty their tubes for 90 days and it is not uncommon for them to cover their tubes for longer. Also should a tube installed by ARC damage anything else in the amp, then ARC covers it if the cause was from the tubes. So for piece of mind as stated above I am going to go with ARC. Again thanks to all for your advice and happy holidays to all.
Siffled, isn't there an ARC warranty repair place in your city? Or are you in MN?
"Winged Cs not available anymore?
Right here:

And many other Tube retailers. ARC is currently putting these in there AMPs. Btw..its $1K for a full set of output/input tubes from ARC. About $600 if you buy elsewhere. I'm currently looking to re tube my VT100 MKI as well. Not sure what I'm going to do.....The Electro Harmonix looks interested a almost 1/2 the price of the winged C...
ARC is currently using 6550WE's. I don't recommend the EH's.
thanks. It appears upscale has run into problems supplying 6550s for VT100s since they won't (knowingly) sell you the tubes. They must have had customers install the tubes and bad things happened.

I guess I'll just buy from ARC and an additional $400 bucks.
Where are you located???