What does sounding good really mean? Excellent Question AlphaBro!
Sounding good is when you can play your work on any system or media and it still sounds incredible.
A great tune doesn't need ultra detail, but it is wonderful when it's there.
Clear and balanced is a good thing. It cannot hurt
Full spectrum and a wide dynamic range -- yeah, if applicable.
Question: Does it "sound good" when you put on a mix that you know should "sound GOOD"?
If that mix doesn't sound GOOD, maybe it's the speakers. Just a thought. If it sound's good and your mixes sound better, you're in the right ballpark my man!! There's nothing wrong with sounding different when it's better.
The only way two people can judge "what good is," is when they both find a tune they agree sounds "good." From there they can judge the piece they're working on.
It's also about what level of "good" you're talking about.
Create a virtual meter with Johnny Thunders written on one side and Steely Dan on the opposite side. Then ask them to set the "GOOD" meter pointer to where they think their performance level is so you can respond to their "what good is" question. (Fill in the band or track of your choice)
You're right, it's not about the war between digital and analog! It's about what you can do with the stuff in front of you.
It's about the EAR and not the GEAR for me and my crew. We try to maximize what we're using to the best of our abilities. Don't get me wrong, I love my toys, it's just not about them when we're getting sounds. IMHO, the situation of the moment is much more important to me and my work, then what piece of gear I put on it!
And last but not least, ATTITUDE is what makes a recording sound GOOD.