Hailing from culture-rich Woodstock, New York, Vicente Archer began his musical studies as a jazz guitarist.
He attended the legendary New England Conservatory for a year before transferring to Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. “I never thought of myself as a bass player,” admits Archer, “but after have not playing guitar a couple of years, I gravitated towards the bass as a second instrument. It just seemed like the right direction musically for me.”
In fact, he picked it up with stunning swiftness. Within just eight months of taking up the bass, Archer was asked by Grammy-winning alto saxophonist Donald Harrison to join his group, and he appeared on Harrison’s album Free to Be. Still, Archer stayed in school and finished his degree at Northeastern before moving to New York City to pursue his musical career. There, he began performing and touring with a long list of luminaries, including Terence Blanchard, Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis, Stanley Jordan, Kenny Garrett, and many more. Today, he’s as prolific as ever, currently performing with Robert Glasper, John Scofield, and Nicholas Payton as well as appearing on new releases from Amos Lee, Norah Jones, Don Cheadles’s “Miles Ahead” movie, and many others. Throughout it all, he has relied on Ampeg bass amplifiers.
Archer began his career as an upright bass player, and he still loves the upright. But he soon became an outstanding electric bass player, as well, which led to his love affair with Ampeg bass amps. “It’s very important to have your own sound,” he asserts. “I’ve always gravitated toward classic sounds, and a lot of my favorite records are from the 1950s and ’60s, including jazz, soul, and rock music. There’s a certain bass tone that’s consistent throughout the music I love, and that tone is from Ampeg amplifiers. When I went from upright to electric bass, I still wanted that full sound from the electric, and the only amp that gave me that was Ampeg. So I immediately bought a few different Ampeg amps.”
Electric bass is not the only instrument Archer amplifies with Ampeg, though. “Lately I’ve found a way to use Ampeg amps with my upright, and it’s a unique sound,” he explains. “I like a full-bodied sound; I want each note to have its full value. Ampeg gives me that for the electric and for the upright bass.”
When playing local clubs, Archer is happy using smaller Ampeg amps, such as the Micro-VR and the B-100R “Rocket Bass” combo amp. “They’re lightweight, and they sound very full,” he professes, “but my go-to amp is the B-15. I use the B-15 for the majority of recordings, and if the studio doesn’t have one, I bring mine.”
Inevitably, when the topic is bass amps, the discussion turns to Ampeg’s mighty SVT. “I’ve used the SVT, and it’s a beautiful sound,” Archer agrees, “but the SVT is large, and I generally don’t have the room to blast it. The B-15 is just right for me. It’s the right size, and it produces a round, full tone on both electric and upright that I really like. It gives upright bass much more depth. I love it! I like a lot of different Ampeg amps, but the classic B-15 is the one for me.”
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