I don't plan to read all the foregoing bits of advice, so forgive me if I repeat something already mentioned. Some VC papers will not reach DMax given only high-contrast exposure using magenta or
blue light. You might need to supplement this with at least a token amount of white light, but keep it
brief unless you add an ND filter. You can only develop so long - maybe four minutes of so in a silver
rich paper, until it hits the max; after that you only increase fog. And it does help to use premium
papers. But even that can be boosted by a combination of selenium and gold toning (rinse between
these steps, though the order is unimportant). Some papers are way better in this respect than others, and image tone differences are an inevitable and possibly desirable by-product. There are more advanced ways to do it to: contrast-increase masking, neg intensification or duplication, etc.