Monogram vs. Kitchenaid 48' SxS Refig. vs. Sub-Zero 695

quadmanApril 13, 2008

After looking at dozens of models and researching online for the past 2 months, we seem to be down to three choices for 48" side by side, built-in refrigerator with ice & water dispenser: GE Monogram, KitchenAid, and Sub-Zero. We likely will go with wooden paneling matching our new cabinets (white). With the Sub-Zero, we are a bit wary of two separate evaporators (one more item to break down), a less-robust ice maker (especially on the model 695 with dispenser), and the high price (do we really need Lexan or aluminum door shelves?).

Various appliance dealers have expressed a range of opinions on these units (e.g., "GE = Good Enough"; "KitchenAid has a better and higher-volume ice maker than Sub-Zero"; "Monogram at least has an overhead (external) evaporator"; "Monogram's light tower is pretty but takes up room"). What do people on this board think would be the best option for a unit where we will install our own paneling and handles? Which ice & water dispenser works best? Which produces the highest volume of ice? (We have a 1999 vintage Whirlpool Gold top-mount freezer with a standard ice maker and want the new fridge to equal or surpass the ice output of the old fridge.) Is the Monogram's overhead evaporator a half-step better than KitchenAid's standard evaporator (if not as good as Sub-Zero's dual evaporators)? The KA's lighting is very rudimentary (looks pretty cheap actually).

We thought for 2 seconds about the gorgeous Sub-Zero professional models, but they are too pricey and do not offer through-the-door dispensing. We have two little kids (7 and 4 years old) and could really use the dispenser. We have seen Liebherr and Northlands online only (both look like good quality, but dispenser?).

We would appreciate any recommendations from those who own Monogram, KA, or S-Z 48" units, especially with regard to reliability, ice-making capacity, and durability. Thanks!

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Check the new Subs coming in the fall.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 7:14PM
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I cant comment as to the monogram, but we have had the KA in for 3 months and have no major complaints. Its been fairly quiet. The water on the door comes out through a filter and it tastes good enough, that I have considered getting rid of the bottled water delivery. We dont use tons of ice, but the icemaker capacity is very large compared to my last kenmore. I paid about 5500 and couldn't justify spending 7000-12000 on the sz even though the one w/the glass door looks amazing. As to the lights looking cheap, I dont know what the lights should look like, but throw a few items into the fridge and I dont think you'll notice at all.
My only complaint was on the door shelves for the fridge side. The fronts come up fairly high and items dont come out as easily as I would like, but I have gotten used to it. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 9:32PM
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These are the same choices that i have narrowed down to. I was also looking at the thermadors BUT the freezer space just isn't enough for us even if we went with an 18" because my DH and kids want external ice. the Thermadors leave almost no freezer space with external ice. SO, i'm looking at the new Subzeros- i think they'll have full extension drawers which is what attracted me to the Therms. The cost difference on any of these will be from$1000-2000. When you are spending that much already- i could justify another $1000 or2 to get a subzero. My salesperson says subzero, GE, then'e heard some horror stories about repairs for kitchenaid, virtually everyone has a horror story for any of these brands. Any opinions?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 2:17PM
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We are getting two Leibherr 24" and putting them side by side. One has an icemaker but not a water dispenser.

Our previous Frigidaire side by side had an ice and water dispenser which I ended up locking most of the time because my 3 and 6 year old were doing too much self-serve. :)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 2:36PM
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