For most of what I'm shooting now, cool to neutral is what I'm looking for. It seems to add something to the scene, rather than a sense of nostalgia. The sense of ascendency from the cooler tone is suited to old abandoned castles and distance shots of things during the evening hours, at least to my eyes!
Thanks for all your help and sharing!
To do a fairly certain check try the following. ...
With ALL lights out, expose a strip of paper under the enlarger to something that will give a very light grey colour when developed. Turn on the "safe"-light. Cover half of the width of the strip length ways with a piece of black paper. Place four coins overlapping the printing-paper and black paper -- this setting up should be done in a few seconds and in the brightest working are of the darkroom. After two minutes remove one coin, repeat until all the coins are gone, then do a last two minutes. Develop/stop/fix/wash the paper.
By comparing the covered and uncovered sides of the test strip, and the locations of the coins, it will be easy to see if there are any visible shapes whatsoever. If the piece of paper is not perfectly even in tone then the darkroom is not safe. Reasons could be light-leaks, un-safe safelight, or even indicator lights on electrical sockets etc. The test starts on a "grey" tone in order to get above the threshold of the paper.
When you sort things out so that ten minutes is ok (five times two minutes) then you can be confident that normal efficient paper handling will not give a problem, and then test for longer!
I'll try your test the next chance I get to print something up.
Thanks for sharing that good advice, and for detailing the procedures. It sounds like the way I did it wouldn't give accurate results, so I was wasting my time!
Kentmere Fineprint gives superb cold tones when developed with amidol and gold toned. I've never been able to get a true cold tone with MCC, though it is a lovely paper in many other respects.
I've just ordered a box of the Oriental VC. As soon as it gets in, I'll be trying it out, and let you know what I find. Thanks, everyone, for all the help and information!