The recently proposed b-modulation method for nonlinear Fourier transform-based fiber-optic transmission offers explicit control over the duration of the generated pulses and therewith solves a longstanding practical problem. The currently used b-modulation however suffers from a fundamental energy barrier. There is a limit to the energy of the pulses, in normalized units, that can be generated. In this paper, we discuss how the energy barrier can be shifted by proper design of the carrier waveform and the modulation alphabet. In an experiment, it is found that the improved b-modulator achieves both a higher Q-factor and a further reach than a comparable conventional b-modulator. Furthermore, it performs significantly better than conventional approaches that modulate the reflection coefficient.