after lots experimentation imo always find best possible quality w/o limiter or compressor on the master. Certain styles benefit from it but psybient like classical music i think best to preserve the maximum amount of dynamics,dimension, clarity...otherwise too much is lost for just simple volume. even with light processing there is an effect on the sound beyond volume, the more processing the more effect, the only way to achieve complete transparency if thats what u want is without it . Yes ur music will be quieter than most but screw it, ppl need to rediscover the volume knob.Through "manual limiting" can get my mixes only a few db softer than most, but to get it there takes a whole lot more work than just slapping on a limiter. Basically exporting mixdowns and finding every spot it peaks and readjust in mix till can get a normalized master level im aiming for, also with izotope rx4 adv you can take care of rogue peaks of a master zooming in down to the millisecond,peaks up to 3ms duration can often be reduced by up to 3dB with complete transparency..
Star Wars not Volume Wars!