I have a HB2 with 57/08s which I am happy with, and a late 90s McCarty which I have put 53/10s in.
After getting the HB2 the McCarty pickups seemed dull so I was going to put the 53s in the HB and the 57s in the McCarty, but I thought I'd try the 53s in the McCarty first.

The McCarty sounds great except I am missing the fatness of the McCarty pickups for singing leads and chunkier power chords.
I have seen some utube clips of a Smokeburst which seems to nail the sound I am after which I presume is mainly due to the non etched 57/08s.

My options seem to be:

Buy a set of non etched 57/08s which are hard to get.
Is there much variation in quality with these?

Buy a Smokeburst or a 1957 / 2008.
I like the look of both guitars so I am interested in your opinions as to which would sound/play better between these two and which would be as safer purchase as I am not able to see or play it before buying.

Thanks for your thoughts.