Last weekend's noodling; Ibanez Talman & Schecter VE-TE.
The Talman is a wonderful Telecaster variant, not that it's close to the real deal, but it retains the Ibanez defiance in doing things the manufacturer's way. Pickguard semblance & pickups arrangement plus that metal surround all scream Tele. Tone-wise, it's closer to the Tele than the Strat but managed to avoid the former's honk.
The Schecter VE-TE is a gem (to me). Tele in every way less the headstock. The Japanese has this penchant for outperforming originals & this was one of them but I had to Duncanized the pickups. Outcome- high gain single coil monster, not for those with a thing for cleans. But I have to give it to Seymour Duncan for packing some great cleans into these Quarter Pound pair, just not the vintage type. Also, this guitar was grounded, staying true to the vintage vibe but not that pleasant if you are into excessive drive.
Where do I go with these two? There will be times when I'm bothered by contemporary looks & tone, these are my go-to 'substitutes' to keep things in check.