Much like Oscar Wilde “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best”
But in a market where there is so much marketing hype - it’s not always easy even get things to a point where it’s a matter of personal taste (and there is ALWAYS that) - so as we probably all consider NAIM to be “The Best” I wondered what other products or brands we consider as such…
Doesn’t need to be expensive or inaccessible (although it might be!) - but what is the BEST you can get in any category, and why?
I’ll start with what inspired me to start a thread.
Pans. Yes Pans. Cookware.
There are two manufacturers that I consider to be the BEST. We use a range from both.
For Cast Iron - Staub - amazing quality, durable, lifetime lasting family heirlooms. We have a few pieces - from a big Paella pan, to a pair of the cutest little Escargot dishes you’ll ever see.
For Stainless Steel - Demeyere - just wonderful quality and usability, superb engineering and amazingly durable. Real professional quality. The Atlantis range is the optimum point within an extensive line of products in our view.
Neither brand are cheap - but you can spend a lot more. Both just get better and better, and therefore also represent good value for money, outlasting others by years (decades most likely - I’ll let you know!)
Is it done objectively or subjectively? We learnt in the world of hi-fi in the mid-70s that the system with the best measurements didn’t always sound the best. I am sure this is the same for many other areas.
I have my favourite brands and products, whether they are the best is a moot point. I tend to be good quality rather than cheap, believing things last longer this way. My Kitchen Aid mixer is an example of this, pricey but not the most expensive mixer you can buy, mine is over 35 years old and like Naim gear, you can get it serviced for a reasonable price. I expect it could outlast me.
Staub Cast Iron Pans for example. The manufacturing quality, the performance, the durability, the understated looks, the extensive use in professional kitchens. All go together to make these - in my view - the BEST Cast Iron Pans you can get.
There is room for opinion obviously, but there are certain brands that have sat at the state of the art for a long time - Naim being one!
But yes - I think if the category is too broad you end up comparing Landrover Defenders with Porsche 911’s - and that way lays madness!
Yes - I think that’s a great example. The mixers are superb - they’ve tried to diversify into other products (Toasters for example) with less success in my view. The quality isn’t the same.
I used to work accross the road from the brand store in Marylebone….
But I also recognise Naim isn’t the best solution for everyone, (BTW I know this could be considered heretical on here).
Many people might say that a Rolls Royce is the best car you can buy and from one set of metrics maybe it is. But to my mind, they are an ugly inefficient waste of space and if I could afford one, I would likely choose a new Smart car over one and spend the money saved on other things, because that would best meet my needs and wants. Someone else could make a very different choice, maybe getting a faster car or choosing a large luxury campervan, because that is best for them.
Obviously, there are objective measurements of quality but that doesn’t always equate to the best for an individual or situation I feel. A t-shirt from Primark might be the best product if you need something to wear for an event that will leave your clothing stained, yet normally if you could afford to pay more a better quality t-shirt from another shop would be considered better.
Maybe I am taking this thread away from the OP’s intention and taking it in a more philosophical direction than they hoped for?
I also agree about the Kitchen Aid Toasters, gave up with mine after it went back 3 times and I will never buy another kettle from them. Mostly bought them to colour match the mixer.
I don’t believe such thing exists in audio. The best would be for me a Naim Statement system but with also the characteristics of the best tubes electronics. The best of both worlds. But It doesn’t exist.
I was recently very very impressed by Aries Cerat. But can’t say it’s the best.
Is that Carbon Steel? …I’ve heard that for some applications - Steak for example - they are amazing. Yours is nicely seasoned I see! …Stainless has the same qualities in terms of high heat - probably higher - but doesn’t become seasoned in the same way.
I have most of the mcook range which is stainless steel and multiple layers to dissipate the heat equally and fast. The pan on the picture was quite a surprise. It is a normal carbon steel pan indeed and absolutely non stick. Eggs, baked potatoes, vegetables, whatever I put in them is quickly done. These simple pans are so fast, environmentally friendly and likely to last for many years. I have a couple of them, for the price of 26 euros each.
Other non stick pans having Teflon layers should be forbidden. In a few years they are useless and need to be replaced.
Controversial one that. Even in our house. We keep both HP (my wife) and Stokes (me!) - I find Stokes has a bit more spice, which I like, whereas HP (which I do like very much) is like a comfortable pair of slippers…just SO familiar and nice.