Yes, the silver top is very good for cheesemaking. I've used it a few times. It's higher fat content as well. I've found Home Brand Standard works fine as well, although it is homongenised.
So is the issue with the dry culture just mostly getting the time for it to get going? With cubes, etc, wouldn't ripening time still affect where you are on the acidity curve because the cultures are still mutlipliying over time, etc.? Or is it that since the mother cultures just get to work, they tend to produce enough meso culture even in a short time?