there are a great many contributing factors to this issue. Rendering intent is a big one to start with, there is no standard with regard to perceptual rendering and it's behavior with regard to shadow detail, amongst many other things. I use two different profiling softwares(sp?), on matte (I'll get back to that) one is wide open and the other more as expected. Additionally both are more open than their corresponding relative colormetric conversions even ( and most relevant) with black point compensation. We do have a standard for colormetric conversions and they should be very similar from one profiler to another, and the big BUT is... there is no standard for black point matching, and 99.99% of the time, black point matching, or compensation, is the only viable way of using relative colormetric for most printing. So the low value contrast may change from one cmm/RIP or driver/application/profiler to another even in colormetric conversions.
Another issue rarely discussed but common to all good printmakers I know- our spectros tend to see into gloss and matte surfaces quite differently, and result in much more dumping down of shadow contrast on photo surfaces than matte surfaces. Because of the way they illuminate and detect during measurement, resulting profiles even from the same software, with as much equal as possible in the build, still result in darker shadows down into black with gloss than matte. You can see it right on the monitor with softproof and ink black turned off to avoid that obvious difference in display. With prints it's obvious. My more "open" profiler works better for me on photo surfaces then...
Editing profiles is generally not recommended as other problems tend to crop up. Your mention of inking controls, either those supplied in your driver, or selecting different media settings, or RIP setup possibilities, are not terribly relevant to internal shadow contrast, but possibly are relevant to the dumping of values down to black. No profiler can know how to map lower values that all read black in the first place.
So first of all, whatever ink controls you have must be set for no "clipping", or dumping of values, even at the expense of gamut. A sweet settings spot must be found with no profile, then profile over that.
I hope I'm not spewing stuff you already know and wasting your time...
So once all that is in place and you have a good profile with good continuous tone down to black, and given all the variables above, IMHO the only option to keep shadows as open as you want are a good color managed workflow, calibrated monitor, and use soft proofing with the profile and rendering intent, then control shadows in the file itself with editing.
Hope some of this helps.