I think we're all aware that given two audio sources, all things being equal, listeners will overwhelming identify the louder as better. Level matching when doing comparisons is therefore of great importance. Can someone please point me to research where this was discovered or experimentally verified?
Your second link speculates that quieter has more bass due to Fletcher-Munson.
You're interpreting the Fletcher-Munson curve upside-down.
I hadn't thought of asking why louder sounds better. Your second link speculates that quieter has less bass due to Fletcher-Munson. We all know that more bass is better I don't buy it. My anecdotal understanding is that the louder-is-better effect has been demonstrated for level differences on the order of 1 dB - doesn't seem like a big enough difference to bring F-M into play.Thanks for taking a stab at it. Still looking for a citation.
Meyer handed out a sheet photocopied from the ABX manual which showed typical level-matching required for reliable detection of differences between sources with 1/3 octave frequency-response aberrations. When the aberrations span a wider spectrum, level-matching becomes increasingly critical, dropping to less than 1/3 of a dB especially in the ear-sensitive 2-5kHz region. Acuity (ability to hear difference) also depends sometimes on how close to the threshold of hearing the level of the frequency is. At threshold, a small increase in level will make the sound audible and enable the listener reliably to distinguish A and B when different.
My anecdotal understanding is that the louder-is-better effect has been demonstrated for level differences on the order of 1 dB - doesn't seem like a big enough difference to bring F-M into play.
Aside from your anecdotal understanding, where do you see people assert that louder on the order of 1 dB sounds better?
There is an upper limit on useful listening levels. Anywhere below that, if you do back-to-back comparisons, louder program is perceived as "Better"."Better" means that a listener would identify louder version as a superior version. It is a robust effect. In my experience, you don't have to give very specific rating criteria for the effect to appear. You can ask for "Better", "Accurate", "High-fidelity", "Pleasant", "Engaging". Just don't ask for "Quieter" and you're good.