Refrigerator Drawers - Marvel v. Perlick...

jscevaFebruary 11, 2011

I am struggling with refrigerator drawers, and looking for feedback from actual owners.

Everyone seems to agree that Perlick is the best quality and quietest, albeit also the most expensive by a significant margin, and I would be 100% set on Perlick except for one thing: the depth of the drawers.

Marvel is significantly deeper. I have looked at both in person, and tested them out, and you really can fit unopened champagne and re-corked wine bottles. Perlick won't. This is a big issue for us, and it might be the deciding factor. BUT, I noticed that some previous posts (e.g., pillog?) have said that the Marvel units are loud. That is a real issue as well.

I have seen both units in store, but it is impossible to really judge how loud they are when the compressor kicks on in that context.

So, I guess my real questions are:

(1) Has anybody actually heard BOTH in similar contexts, where they can give me an honest opinion on the relative noisiness?

(2) After initial cool-down, how frequently and for how long does the compressor typically run on these type of units (assuming that the doors are opened an equal amount on both, not too frequently)?

(3) Does anybody have any suggestions for storing bottles at an incline? I note, for example, that the Ariston 36" drawers come with a 2-bottle rack that holds wine etc. at a 45degree angle, letting opened bottles fit. Anybody have any leads for something similar that might work in the Perlick's?

Thanks to everyone in advance.

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unopened champagne (any wine, really) should be stored on it's side to keep the cork moist.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 1:57PM
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no. In France and Italy they laugh at us for thinking the cork has to be touching the liquid.

In this GW forum, nobody has seen/heard both company's fridges operating in identical acoustic environments. Almost nobody could give you an estimated guesstimating sense about the noise comparison you asked for.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 4:31PM
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I know its unlikely, but its not impossible that someone, somewhere has heard both in similar environments. Maybe a dealer with both on the floor, who has been around when the store is empty and there is less ambient noise? You never know...
Re the sideways/cork issue - as a quick look at most wine shops will tell you, storing wine upright for relatively short periods of time is not a problem. You do want to store on the side for long-term aging, but I have proper long-term wine storage for that. I wouldn't store any wine at fridge temperature for long enough for the cork issue to matter, anyway. The fridge drawers will be used for bringing the bottles down from storage temp to drinking temp and for short term storage of a week or less. Also for storage of opened bottles that aren't quite finished...of course, even the Perlick won't hold an opened champagne bottle with bouchon, so I am still exploring alternatives.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 6:41PM
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I am struggling with that frig drawer dilemma, too. I have decided on the Elux drawers. They have 6 c. f capacity, individual stats, good rollers and seem great, albeit pricey. Hard to find reviews on them. Have you evaluated Elux fridge drawers? Please advise. thanks

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 11:00PM
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I don't know about the Perlick. The cycle on the Marvel doesn't go that often; once or twice a day, I think. If the TV is on (or the hood), it doesn't bother me even if I'm sitting right by it. If there's normal ambient noise, it doesn't bother me. It's annoying with good music, but it's quasi-urban where I live and there's always some kind of noise anyway. If it's a quiet afternoon and the birds are singing and there's no construction or traffic noise (I'm on top of a knoll and noise travels), it bugs the heck out of me. But then it stops. It does take awhile to cycle though. I've never noted how long, but it's a lot more than a minute or two. Might be as little as five, might be quite a bit more.

My Marvel drawers are installed on a plywood "ramp" to make them line up correctly with the rest of the cabinetry. This may amplify the noise. It theoretically might dampen it because the floor is tile on concrete, but I doubt it. (Kas probably knows better.)

If you're putting it in a great room where you want to listen to quiet concertos, or in a dining room, it might bother you a lot. In a kitchen that isn't part of a larger room, I think the deep drawers are a fine trade-off for a little noise now and then.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 12:08AM
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I would check the type of compressors used in both the Perlick and the Marvel.

The Perlick Wine Fridges use the variable speed compressors that most new fridges are using now, IE SZ, Miele, Jenn-air---etc etc.

These compressors tend to be extremely quiet and are usually running very slowly and only speed up when the demand for "Cool" goes up----ie door left open for a while, or a lotta warm stuff put in it---etc etc.

For what it's worth, My Jenn-Air 48 " built in Fridge has the Variable Speed Compressor, We've had it since 2006, I can not hear that thing run even if I lean against it with my ear. In fact on a training site for certain GE Fridges (that use the VSC) it advises the trainees that they will not be able to hear the compressor run and they have to look at an led that indicates it is running or to check the power to the compressor,

Now compare this to my Elux wind fridge, while not very loud, it is easy to tell when it's running, and in fact, I know when it is time to clean the filter when I hear it running a lot.---Not real loud, but easy to detect (audibly) when it runs.

So I think it would be worth your time to check this out, or maybe some of our experts here, know whether one or both of these Fridge Drawers use the VSC.

(Hint) compare the power usage of both (Energy Ratings)


    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 9:51AM
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westsider40 - we considered the Marvel & the Elux and went with the Elux mostly from a design perspective as we thought all other feature comparisons were a wash. While we're distinctly UNhappy with our Elux CD French door fridge, we are thrilled with the Elux fridge drawers in our butler's pantry and recommend the unit highly.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 10:18AM
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I did look at the electrolux, and they actually look like great units (especially for the price), but with 2 fatal flaws for our situation. First, they can't be integrated and we definitlely want to put on drawer fronts and "hide" the drawers as much as possible. Second, they are too short for us (shorter than Perlick). I should note, though, that they seemed taller than GE monogram, and WAY taller than subzero (who have a great product from an integration standpoint, but really fall down on the usable space).

P111og, thanks very much for the feedback. Its much appreciated. For comparison, did you have a different refrigerator in the same room pre-remodel, or was this new (I apologize, I haven't searched your old posts to see if you discuss elsewhere). If it replaced something, what did it replace and how does it compare on the noise front?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 11:50AM
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Don't worry--I'm happy to repeat myself. :) I did above as well. One of the things that keeps these fora vital and interesting is the clunky old software that makes it harder to find old info. So we keep providing new posts. :)

I did have an old bar fridge in my old kitchen that served a similar purpose as the Marvel drawers. It held a few beverages for company and "projects". There's no way to compare them really. The old one was of the ringy-dingy type, and much smaller. The Marvel is a lot louder than the nearly silent Miele fridge and freezer in the current kitchen.

I don't know how to describe it, and I'm not obsessive enough to try to record it. It's kind of annoying, but not overwhelming, it doesn't last long, it doesn't cover other sounds, like conversation, TV, or music with a beat. Not so great with baroque harpsichord.

When it was first plugged in, as you may have read in another post, it was a lovely, quiet day and I was in the kitchen prepping, and I couldn't stand it and unplugged it until I could leave the room. Since it cooled down initially, it's been fine. Certainly worth the trade off for the deep drawers. I had exactly the same impression of the capacities as you listed above. That's what sold me on Marvel. I never hear the cycle outside of the kitchen. That is a favorable comparison to an old, full sized SubZero. :)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 2:43PM
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Thanks everyone for the reassurance. I haven't seen the Elux in person but I am tapped out for decision making. Haven't seen the others either. Thanks all.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 4:23PM
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david - I've lived in France, Germany and England. Without exception, all the cellars and wine storage racks I had or saw - placed the bottles in the horizontal position except for displaying prized bottles! Why do you suppose that is?

Perhaps the Europeans you know are just ignorant?

Perhaps they are into the new movement that favors screw off tops and plastic corks in sparkling? Champagne must still have a cork made of cork. These don't need to be kept moist.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 5:41PM
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no, it may be that it's easier access and storage, a wall of racks with side-lain bottles. Enough about this.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 6:04PM
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Maybe with foil and plastic over the corks they don't dry out as easily as they used to?

Jsceva, I thought of you yesterday. It was a quiet, sunny, Sunday afternoon (if you don't count some pretty aggressive chirping from the neighborhood birds), and we were sitting in the kitchen having a quiet conversation, when the fridge drawers cycled on. First there was a short, whirring windup, then an even machine noise that kept going at a steady level. It didn't disturb the conversation, but since I noticed it coming on I tried to time it. I had to think about it when I was checking my watch to make sure it was still going (as opposed to some other ambient sound). But it did keep going and we had to go. I'd guess that it probably was on for half an hour.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 1:28PM
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plllog, cork doesn't dry out; it's impervious; it doesn't allow evaporation. Cork-stoppered wine bottles can be stored upright.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 3:14PM
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Plllog, (waving) wait, think about me, too. OUr undercounter frig will be within touching distance of two of the five seats in the eat in area. One could sit in the chair and touch the undercounter fridge.

Corks be darned.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 12:44AM
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"cork doesn't dry out; it's impervious"

Not to vapor/ gases it's not!

Look I though we were going to drop this?

You are certainly entitled to you opinion that storage makes no difference for wine corks or that metal / plastic are better, and you might be correct. There is a growing movement in the industry that is questioning the status quo - but that does not mean that centuries old practices are for the birds and wrong either !

As it pertains to this conversation - I happen to think it will make zero diff to jsceva because (s)he is not likely to be keeping the few bottles this unit will store for long enough to make a noticeable change in the taste however they are stored. Besides these units are usually too cold + dry for proper maturation of rare, expensive vintages one would generally age.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 4:46PM
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"it will make zero diff to jsceva because (s)he is not likely to be keeping the few bottles this unit will store for long enough to make a noticeable change in the taste however they are stored. Besides these units are usually too cold + dry for proper maturation of rare, expensive vintages one would generally age."

Couldn't have said it better myself. It's completely irrelevant...but that said, I have to point out that anyone who thinks "cork doesn't dry out" has obviously never tried to open a bottle where the cork disintegrated on you into a thousand crumbly bits. Its definitely a real phenomenon, whatever the cause...but I think it has more to do with the ability to open the bottle without contaminating the wine with detritus than it does with the quality of the wine itself.

Also, not that I think anyone *really* cares, but there is a strong school of thought that champagne and other sparkling wines should always be stored upright, not on its side - the Comit� Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne advocates this, for example, stating that the trapped carbon dioxide in the bottle protects the wine better than direct cork contact, and that in fact champagne allegedly ages faster if stored on its side in contact with the cork.

With that said, I now officially request we kill this has served its purpose, and now is just going in off-topic circles...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 10:17PM
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Any updates on drawers or beverage centers? How are they holding up? Noise? What would you buy today...?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 6:43PM
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Love my elux drawers. perfect. Quiet. They hold so,so much. All too often, I buy way too much produce and am happy to say, I dump it all in the elux drawers.

My fridge drawers, now 2.5 years old are a kitchen fave. Or is it my 30 Bosch induction?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 10:32PM
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There is a hidden cost of premature internal part malfunction with the Marvel in my experience. After only a couple of years use, the thermostat went out which is amazing as it is rarely touched. The cost to replace is close to $400 with parts and labor. A true disappointment.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 4:26PM
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Why not get the drawers from Sub Zero? They , after all brought the drawer concept to the residential market last century and are not some Johnny cone lately to the drawer game.

Additionally , their units are easier to integrate with panels from your cabinet company, and are still the Only unit to my knowledge that can be fully concealed.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:02AM
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Huh? Both Marvel and Perlick can be fully integrated. Unless you're talking about the toekick area?

SZ are fine but they're a different shape with a different drawer configuration.

I got Marvel because of the super deep bottom drawer. Sorry about FrankP's bad part. I've had mine about the same amount of time, and so far so good. It doesn't like filmy plastic bags stuck to the top. :) Otherwise, it's a workhorse. wouldn't buy a BMW, Lexus or Chevy because Duryea were the first ones to sell gas powered autos?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 5:23PM
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as a appliance dealer i would suggest either perlick or TRUE over marvel;not only are they built better;perlcik as a s/s interior while marvel is plastic;use the perlick model with the "s"compressor not the "c" compressor.i know for a fact they are quieter since i have had clients whoo have bought the marvel wine coolers and returned them for the noise and then bought the pelick in lieu of-alternately as i have previously mentioned you might also want to considet
TRUE which is another commercial refrig co which now makes residential products

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 1:26PM
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My Marvel is certainly noisy, but it has stainless steel drawers. So I checked online. There is a model that has white drawers, but they also have stainless, and still have the extra deep lower drawer.

Interesting to know that True are making residential units.

I bet Perlick are still the quietest.

edit: typo

This post was edited by plllog on Sat, May 17, 14 at 17:23

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 5:22PM
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plllog - I am specifically talking about the toekick area.

The Duryea brothers are an interesting historical tidbit, but Benz preceded them by several years AND continues on. Few even know what Duryea is.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Trouble with some of these discussions is they are seen mostly by people shopping at the time and some in the trade or with continuing interests. I realize this thread is now to old to help the OP, but I own Perlick drawers and bought them for the quality elements that went into them even thought I'd never heard of them before. The commercial background and fact that we then saw undercounter units in bars and restaurants was good enough. Ours are integrated and the 24" size worked better for us than the 27" SZ and gave us flexibility down the road if we ever wanted to change them out for something different. Ours are in our breakfast room right behind the side of the table where I sit. They get heavy use, always keep up and are very quiet. After 7 1/2 years, I'd buy Perlick again in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 12:27PM
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Perlick factory seconds is awesome, just ordered a $3500 outdoor fridge for $2000. Cosmetic damage is small and in an area hidden once installed. Shorter warranty, but that's a lot of savings to put towards possible repairs.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 2:29PM
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Curious.... If the damage is only cosmetic, why a shorter warranty?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 3:54PM
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Good question about the warranty, I guess it has to do with the reduced cost, maybe something about buying direct. Regardless, with that much money off, it was a no brainer. Should have it in a week or so.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 3:56PM
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There have been new federal guidelines passed down to all the refrigeration companies. Marvel has redesigned there full line to meet these new cost saving criteria. I am an authorized Marvel dealer and can address your questions on the product. Marvel newly designed unit launched on November 1st. Here is a link to our websight which features video out-ling the differnces

Here is a link that might be useful: new marvel product meeting K star criteria

    Bookmark   December 15, 2014 at 1:04AM
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No it isn't. It's a link to Vent-a-Hoods. I was hoping that this was posted to be useful rather than driving click traffic. :(

    Bookmark   December 15, 2014 at 1:58PM
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