Panel-ready ice machine: SZ or Scotsman Brilliance, Manitowoc

akcorcoranJanuary 30, 2013

So, I finally got our wet bar all set (posted in vain for opinions, well, I guess we all have to make a call sometime!) -

anyway, I had it all set with a Manitowoc ice machine on the right side of a U-line 3000 Series combo wine cooler/bev center. But, we wanted it paneled so it was not a bank of stainless on the right and one lone cabinet on the left.

Unfortunately, I just realized that the Manitowoc version canNOT be paneled, just stainless. HUGE bummer!

What's confusing is the SubZero version which is identical CAN be panel ready - is there any chance the Manitowoc version could be paneled?

If not, that would force me up the price chain to the SZ branded version? I *hate* to pay more for a SZ version just b/c of the name but the design in the room really hinges on that panel.

SO... How do people like their SubZero 15" ice machines? I hate to pay more for just the brand when it's identical to the Manitowoc but we do want it paneled.

The other well-reviewed one that can be paneled is the Scotsman Brilliance model. How loud is this one and can anyone recommend it?

layout below attached

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IMO SZ/Mani is the 2nd best choice out there.

Scotsman is crap.

Hoshizaki is your best bet.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:00AM
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Deeageaux - What about Hoshizaki makes it the best bet? How does it compare to subzero regarding reliability?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:55AM
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Hoshi is the quietest. Not by a lot vs SZ but a lot vs the rest

It is about 10% more energy efficient.

I spoke to appliance repairmen and they say hoshizaki requires about half the maintenance. How much actual maintanance is required depends on how hard the water is you are feeding it.

Hoshizaki also last much longer than Scottsman,KitchenAid etc .

I asked them if they were buying one which they would get. Most said Hoshizaki , this from a very pro buy American crowd. Although Hoshizaki is a Japanese co these units are made in Georgia.

I researched this to the nth degree before deciding my kitchen was too small for a separate ice maker and got a 24" Gaggenau freezer with in-door ice.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 1:31AM
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So, it's funny you mention the Hoshizaki. I went in determined to buy the Hoshi - determined. We are in the food biz as well and know Hoshisaki to be the best at ice, bar none.

The guy at my appliance store told me, however, that he believed this unit could NOT be installed as a built in with no clearance above the ice maker. He maintained that it was cooled with air circulation that needed to come back out via the top (it could be flush on the sides) and that if it is built-in, it is going to overheat and will cease functioning.

I was very doubtful about that given that you can actually panel it to match your cabinetry - then it would seem to me that it's got to be fine to build in.

Could he be wrong about that? I'd love to go back to the Hoshi - it was my TOP choice for sure! I wonder who I could contact to confirm that?

Anyone out there have a Hoshisaki undercounter? That was my problem (I couldn't find anyone that actually has one...)

Here is a link that might be useful: Hoshizaki AM-50BAE

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 2:17AM
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Actually, it looks like there's a different model number for the one with a custom overlay panel. Link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hoshizaki AM-50BAE-DS

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 2:23AM
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Have you tried to contact Hoshizaki directly? I'm not sure if they have a specific residential division, but you could certainly just ring them.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 2:27AM
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I did try last week but it's so geared towards commercial, I couldn't really find the right person and sort of gave up. I've been poring over the docs tonight and really do think I could build it in and the guy was wrong. Now, we may be right in that it ideally would have more air space around it, but we do have some room above and beside it - it is just filler there to make everything fit.

Do you happen to know how one puts a water filter on an ice maker where it's not built in (like the Manitowoc or SZ? My general contractor said I'd likely actually save $ b/c we can install the filter at the water source below and it can be much bigger and last longer, plus I won't pay up for the specific one that pops into the Manitowoc/SZ. But, I'd love to hear from anyone who did an external water filter for ANY model ice maker.

We don't have hard water - and actually Baltimore has really great tap water so it's not a filter for that, I just want to make sure the ice is clean in taste.

In the end, it takes a custom panel and I'm really excited about the Hoshi SO... I'm glad I posted and you pushed me back to my original plan!

I'll report back on our experience!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 3:09AM
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