NBD NOS Quest Black Magic P Bass aka "I was noir when noir wasn't cool"...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by moonshinegtrs, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    I've been digging the new Fender Noir P bass, it reminds me of the 80's BBR Washburn line (black with red binding, inlays, etc...). I like the Fender and I may try to pick one up used some day.

    So last weekend I was searching through the basses on Ebay (you think I'd learn...) and found a listing for a new old stock Quest Black Magic P bass; I'd never seen one before and it looked pretty cool in the pictures. The price was not too bad and they had a "make offer" listed... Even though I have been working not buying any more basses, what was I to do?

    I did what any of you would do. I said screw it and made a cheap offer for the bass... and they took it!

    It arrived today... In it's original case (with case candy and the key!)... I didn't even know it came with a case! It is truly NOS, it still has the factory check list hang tag. It is beyond mint.

    Better yet, it weighs 6 pounds!

    "C'mon Dad, open the case!"


    The neck is straight, the factory strings suck. I haven't even plugged it in, to be honest I kind of hate to mess with it... Note I said "hate to" not I won't.

    Moonshine :bassist:
  2. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Interesting. Was QUEST an offshoot/sub-line of another company? Looking forward to you review of this. Always nice get a bass for cheap and it turns out to very good!
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  3. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Looks like Quest was an offshoot of Vantage basses (apparently Westone is another). Not a lot of information on these.

    Moonshine :bassist:
  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    A guitarist in a metal band I was in during 80's had a Profile Strat knock off in those same colors.
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  5. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Westone was a Matsumoku brand they made for themselves, kind of their "in-house" brand. And if the serial number is past 1985 (at the most very early 1986), then it was not a Matsumoku as they went out of business. I don't know anything about the Vantage brand.
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    SIX POUNDS?!?!?! How do you know when you have it around your neck?

    Looks very cool. I look forward to your report when you actually string it up and play it through an amp.....which you are gonna do, right?
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  7. Looks nice Fender copying a copy :jawdrop:
    kodiakblair and moonshinegtrs like this.
  8. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Noir was always cool:

  9. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    I found some information here...
    The History of Quest - Vantage Guitars MIJ

    Sounds like it is Matsumoko, possibly from 1985.

    I just got done setting it up; the neck had a huge underbow (probably never properly set up) but it came out. I left the old strings on it for now, I think I will be putting round wounds on it but that may change. The neck is fairly big, fills my hand nicely. The satin finish feels great on the neck.

    Structurally, the bass is close to perfect, it is an extremely well built bass. the shortcomings are typical of imported instruments from this era; the hardware is okay, I need to replace the tiny strap button screws, not that it is that big of a problem on a 6lb bass and I wish they had splurged and put black tuners on it (the buttons almost look like they were painted black). The other place where they cut cost is the electronics, typical cheap pots and wiring and the only real fault I can find with this bass, the pickup is very low output. I haven't taken it apart yet but it needs a pickup/controls swap.

    It's a fun bass to play, it's the lightest P bass I have ever owned, with a little work it may find it's way into rotation.

    And @bholder ...

    Hard to argue with Bogart.

    Moonshine :bassist:
    bholder likes this.
  10. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Thanks for the info! Read the whole Vantage site---very interesting. And thank gawd that underbow came out of the neck---whew!
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  11. moonshine - very cool. Understated elegance.
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  12. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Summer NAMM is here, I've got instruments that need to be delivered but...

    This bass is killing me, it has so much potential. Last. night I remembered that I had a Hwy 0ne pickup that I had stashed away, I really liked it and I was saving it for something special... Hmmm.

    At first I was going to just replace the pickup but if you're going to mod something why not go all out?
    Here's the stock pickup and the number that's stamped on the body under the pickup (no idea what it means...).
    The original coils were fairly small (I didn't check the output), the Hwy one coils are considerably larger.

    After removing all of the stock parts and bagging them and stashing them in the case...

    I rewired the controls... don't laugh at the big ass capacitor; I was out of standard .047's and this amp cap (600 watts!!!) was all I had on hand. I made sure that it worked before I posted the picture... Don't judge me! :D

    You got to love it when the replacement pickup fits in the same holes with the same screws...

    And here we are...

    I put on a set of D'Addario XL's and did a more thorough set up (cleaned up the frets, lowered the strings at the nut, etc...)

    First impressions are; This bass ROCKS!

    Man, talk about P bass growl... This bass has it in spades. I love roundwounds on this bass. My ears have been leaning towards flatwounds for awhile now, but this bass was made for roundwounds (okay, maybe not but after adding the Hwy one p/u it sings with round wound strings... Okay, Growls).

    It is definitely in rotation. I can't wait to play out with it!

    Color me Happy.

    Moonshine :bassist:
  13. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Call me crazy but I have a theory why this bass is so light...

    I think the body is Balsa... :woot:

    I have my reasons.

    Moonshine :bassist:
  14. Rick In Texas

    Rick In Texas

    Sep 26, 2019
    I just purchased one, and a Starcaster J bass for $75 FOR BOTH out the door at a pawn shop!!

    Attached Files:

    charlie monroe likes this.
  15. Lane O

    Lane O

    Nov 6, 2022
    I see this is a pretty old post but I had to respond. I was just looking up information on the quest black magic and reliving a rebuild I did on mine a few years ago with my 5 year old daughter. It was her 1st of such projects that I introduced her to.
    I'll try to make this story short.
    I acquired the bass years ago from a housemate of mine who got my bike stolen.
    Back in the nineties I found an older vintage cruiser bike and totally refurbished it.
    ( This is relevant because that's what I did with the bass as well).
    I let my friend borrow my bike one weekend and it was stolen. She ended up moving and left me this crappy-ass bass guitar.
    I'm a drummer but I've always had guitars and bass's and amps to noodle around on.
    I never liked the esthetic of thr Black Magic bass by quest. It was so teenage heavy metal. Don't get me wrong, as a drummer I mostly play metal..... But this esthetic did not do it for me. ( Although it did play quite nicely and the action was great, the sound, not so much)
    After being stored away in the case for years, And always being really bummed that it reminded me of my bike that I put my heart and soul into that got stolen, I decided one day to just totally restore this bass and make it my own. I made it a project with my 5 year old daughter.
    Basically the only thing stock left on this bass is the body. I replaced the neck with a very decent Chinese jazz bass neck I'm a Grover tuner's, Dimarzio pickups, new electronics, saddle and all the rest of it.
    I'm very happy with the way it turned out. It plays and sounds better than ever. The only thing that links it to it's old life is the serial number plate on the back.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2022
    thnmp likes this.
  16. emal

    emal Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2016
    Well we know where Fenser got their idea fir the Noir Special Edition. Nice bass, I'll be on the lookout for one now!
  17. Akiyama


    Oct 25, 2022