Your response is PRECISELY why I started this post some 1804 readers ago. I have been using Oriental VC lately too, and until I put those prints on the wall next to the Azo prints, I thought it was pretty deep and rich and long scaled.
Per Volquartz and the guy (Anthony?) from Fine Art Photo Supply are both really swearing by Polymax in Fine Art's Versa Print developer. I am going to try that, although it's up to a 6 minute development time to get deep blacks, and I am not interested in hovering over the devel tray for six minutes for each test, step, etc. But if the stuff looks better on the wall next to the Azo, I will let you know.