Adam,

Many of the contributors to this forum have vastly more experience than I, but let me suggest that IMHO it's all about the negative, not about the chemistry. You would do much better (and retain a modicum of your net worth) if you matched your negatives to your chemistry, rather than trying to manipulate chemistry to help your negatives.
Secondly, don't underestimate the paper. Start with Arches Platine or Rising Stonehenge and hand size it with gelatin. I started hand sizing two weeks ago when I came across an unsized paper, but I went back and sized all my other papers and reprinted with amazing results. I can now single coat AP with better results than when I double coated it before sizing. That's a cost saving!
Good luck and have fun!