The History of Quest

I found this somewhere on the internet. I haven’t had the time to check the information and clean it up a bit. But I will.

Quest by Vantage


What is the connection between Vantage and Quest?
Quest was a “plain jane” version of the Vantage line. I wouldn’t necessarily call them entry level as they were decent quality, just moderately priced.


I thought Quest was a miniature version, like half scale or something.


They did make a little mini DC, kind a cool and even came with a matching case.

There are other models though; most were part of the Atak series.

What about the Quest Manhattan or the Quest Black Magic or even that crazy hollow body they had (forgot the model name)?


All of these three, which I owned at various times, were fancier than any Vantage I ever saw.

I’m curious, though, what exactly is the connection between Quest & Vantage. Just two Matsumoku brands or is there more?
Up until now I had not heard of a “Manhattan”, “Black Magic”, and did not know there was a Quest by Vantage hollow. The Vantage name was sold after the Matsumoku plant was sold in 1987. Most like the the Quest name was sold as well.


Quest originally was a subset line distributed by the same folks that distributed Vantage and were a little lower priced, but still good quality. This is what I meant by “plain jane”. No frills, just pure instrument.

I have seen other guitars sporting the Quest name, but appeared to be older and although cool looking, were not of the same quality and simply early Japanese re-brands. I would love to see pics of a Manhattan or Black Magic. Then I would have at least some idea if they are from the same line.

There are on average over 2000 hits a month alone on the Vantage specs pages. To date no catalog scans have come in for Vantage guitars, or Quest for that matter. I know they exist, somewhere.

The Black Magic was a pretty fancy Strat-style, completely black with black hardware and dark red dot inlays.

The Manhattan is more Gibson-like, 2 humbuckers & stop tail, binding, 3+3 head. Strange shape, sort of like a squared-off SG, but a high quality axe.

The hollowbody was really bizarre. Imagine a hollow Gibson L-6S with an oval sound hole, one humbucker, a set neck, a 6-in-line headstock and pearloid binding and inlays. And… a Kahler-style vibrato with a locking nut. Really a strange feature for a hollow guitar.
Out of the three, the Manhattan was by far the best one. I only got rid of it because it had the bolt-on neck. Everything else on that guitar was absolute perfection.


I don’t think the fretboard was ebony, just really dark (possibly stained) rosewood. Other than the color scheme, it was a fairly average Stratozoid. Decent, but not really special. The funny thing is, Quest pretty much had the “Gothic” look years before Gibson did

If I ever find my photos of the Quests, they will be going up on my site,, once I get around to updating it.


They did make a little mini DC, kind a cool, and even came with a matching case.
I got the mini bass version of that. A very nice quality instrument.


My brother owns a blueburst Quest Manhatten.

It’s a great looking guitar, beautiful finish and style. But it has a poor fitting neck joint. It was shimmed with match books at the time of purchase, and unfortunatly will not hold a set up.


I remember thinking how luscious this guitar was with the matte black
absorbing all the light in the world and the red outline on the pick guard setting it off. Wow.

Question: was this actually made at mat?

In another thread concerning this model Crusty writes:

it would very likely have been made by Matsumoku as part of the “Quest by Vantage” series.

Also going on the neck plate the serial would indicate it was made in 1985.