The recent thread on bright white papers reminded me about something I wanted to share.
Perception of dynamic range in a b&w print is something that is greatly affected by presentation and viewing conditions. For ink prints I prefer the mat Crane Museo Max paper which has a good D-max but an off-white base. When you view the print unmatted it looks great but I found my usual matting technique (bright white board) greyed out how I perceive the highlghts and lowered the apparent dynamic range. I believe this is because the mat was a brighter white than the paper base. Once I went to a mat with a touch of grey in it to bring it down a hair darker than the print paper base the dynamic range of the print lit up again. I went back to some PP and Van Dykes that I had printed a few years ago on mat papers and found a similar effect. However if you go to dark this subtle boosting of the high values is lost.