It sounds as though you are suggesting using a very soft (0/00) grade instead of burning in order to retain highlights. The problem is that this will reduce local contrast throughout the print, making it flatter and with less snap. The advantage of burning is that it allows you to reduce global contrast, by burning the lighter areas, without affecting local contrast.
I was only thinking to use 0/00 after base exposure was made either with a filter or no filter.
Base exposure: With or without filter which results in no highlights.
Expose with 0/00 only, after the base exposure.
OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
Rolleicord Va: Humble.
Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.