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Bluestar vs. American Range

Posted by jammiesallday (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 10, 09 at 19:21

The stress of choosing an appliance is going to send me to the funny farm. Seriously, I stressed less about my car!!! We are looking at 36" range and these 2 come close to fitting in the budget. (squish, squeeze...bye by Lacanche).

I'd love to hear experiences with these ranges. I read a few threads about Bluestar, but is everyone really unhappy with this or are there those who have had good experiences.

Thank you for any help, I can't continue on my cabinet design until we figure this out. It slays me kitchen appliances with this aesthetic look are so expensive.
TIA


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I'll be the first to say that I love my Bluestar. It took a while for me to decide to replace a functioning 8yr old Viking cooktop but I finally decided to do it.

Certainly, you'll read some negative stuff about Bluestar just as I'm sure you will find about Wolf or Viking. Just about every brand will have their critics. I personally didn't like my Viking cooktop but that's not to say Viking doesn't make any good products. I think you'll find in even the posts with a negative title, there are always people who say they like their Bluestar in response.

I can't compare American Range with Bluestar since I've never owned or used an American Range range. The only advice I'd give is look carefully into whether you want sealed or open burners. I chose Bluestar because they are the only high end manufacturer that makes an open burner drop-in cooktop. Search for "open burner" and/or "sealed burner" and you'll find many discussions about the differences. I personally will never want to go back to sealed burners again purely based on my experience.

Good luck.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

We wanted simple when we remodeled our kitchen and it was a toss up between Blue Star and Five Star (Brown Stove Works). Blue Star won out due to open burners. No regrets, but I wish it had a temp gage for the oven. Good luck!


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

dcrb - Can you tell me about the temp gauge? I am new to the world of gas ranges and don't understand your comment.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

odiegirl13: The FiveStar Range has an oven temp guage; the Blue Star does not. Most ovens have a temp guage in addition to the settings you use on the oven knob. The Five Star's burners were more conventional in that they are are not open; they have a cap on. So, we gave up the convenience of having a built in oven temp guage for the open burners and use a small $10.00 guage from Target and set it on the shelf to determine the temp. I would visit the BS and FS web sites and view their videos. Everyone on this site, myself included will come out strong in favor of what we like/use. You will have to decide what YOU like. I will say that you need to see first hand various ranges. And don't pay for features that aren't absolutely necessary.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

After I ordered my Bluestar I read all the posts on this forum and was petrified! I tried to cancel my order, but the restocking fee was prohibitive. I'm so glad I did not get a different range! I LOVE my Bluestar! It's cooking capabiities are phenomenal and I have not had a whisper of a problem.

I don't use the 36" oven that much (I also have a wall oven), other than for broiling. It's a big oven cavity and takes a while to preheat-- but that would be true for any 36" range. The infra red broiler is fantastic, though.

It is so easy to clean-- just a swipe of the bullnose is all that's required many nights-- and that is a gigantic plus for me. It's so depressing to disassemble a range and wipe down the drip pans when everyone else is relaxing. Not required with the BS.

I very highly recommend the BS.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I'm in the same boat. We are very close to making a decision on a new 30" range but stuck on what to choose. These two brands are our top contenders as well as, though almost ruled out, DCS and a GE Cafe (I know, I know...).

One of my concerns is the open burners. I've never had them nor cooked on them and wonder if I will like them and how all the iron grates etc. will look over time. I'm concerned about the heat generated by the BS as well; we only have room for a 30" hood and the duct work is already in and not brilliant ( this is a new house where we are simply replacing the appliances - the duct goes up and then over through interior walls so it's small with a couple right angles).

My other concern with BS is quality and build. While many people seem thoroughly delighted with it, I couldn't help but notice the rougher finish on it compared to the AR and DCS. It simply doesn't look as well put together to me and there seem a great many complaints/issues folks have directly related to that.

So I am reading this and soooo many other threads with great interest and trying to decide. Please keep the comments coming!


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

jn99:A gas range is a box containing a controlled fire. It doesn't have to be pretty to function extremely well. The BS is not state of ther art looking nor is it ever going to wow the elite and the uppercrust of society. But it does it's job exceedingly well and I believe that BS has added some fancier trim options. I am not sure what the rough finish is. Certainly I can cut myself on a sharp corner under the 'deck' where the gas manifold is located if I am not careful. Are there gas ranges with a better fit and finish? Certainly. But the looks do not contribute to cooking. So it was not important to my wife and myself. As far as the heat is concerned: it is not uncomfortable. Because the oven is not self cleaning, there is an absense of the additional insulation one would find in a self cleaning oven. That may be a concern to some and not to others. Personal preference. My advice is get what pleases you and your family based upon features, looks and price, in any order you feel comfortable with. Open burners are great: the bottom of the cooking vessel spreads out the flame. With a covered burner, the small plate spreads the flame somewhat but the vessel's bottom is what spreads it even more. Not a detriment, just different. None of the ranges that you have mentioned are inexpensive and once purchased you will be living with it for a long time. The range hood will pretty much dictate the size of the range. If you can visit stores with demonstrations, that is probably better than anything I or others can say. You can see, touch, and possibly witness cooking. In the end, it is what you want. Anything, no matter the cost, can and will fail at some time. I hope this did not sound too gruff as it was not my intent.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

dcrb, no not too gruff. Well, maybe a little ;-)

I think my problem is I am struggling with what it is that pleases me (us) and thus fearful of making the wrong choice for such an expensive purchase. But we have no appliances and I'm feeling the pressure...

The thing with the BS is I am tempted by its promise of unparalleled cooktop performance and the fact that it offers the most pro like performace of the pro-style ranges. To me though, the build quality definitely seems suspect. Granted, it doesn't have to be pretty to perform well but I'm looking at this from a build quality point of view, not an appearance point of you and in that the AR seems much better than the BS. Alas, my quest continues but the decision is likely to be this weekend.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I agonized forever over my range choice and then came away from several different Euro range choices over to the Bluestar or the American.... but in the end I chose Bluestar... I am still awaiting delivery and install so cannot comment firsthand. However, I was very definite about wanting a color and the Bluestar offers colors on the sides as well as the front and I liked that idea because it will stick out from the cabinets a bit and so it will show. Also, the Bluestar offers SO MANY Colors you are spoilt for choice. Besides that I like the look of the Bluestar with the smaller oven window better... looks more vintagey which I was going for. I cannot comment on build quality...if I wanted that I would likely have selected Wolf... but again, I wanted a colored range. I am happy of the idea of the open vs the closed burners...

I agree it is a tough decision to make.. but in the end I decided nothing is certain and to be adventurous and get the Bluestar... worst case scenario I will have a standard size range that will have to be replaced at some point....but hopefully not of course!!!

I agree with the comment above... I have purchased cars with much less worry and stress....and think what they cost!!

Best of luck with your decision,

Tina


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Look at your range hood and measure the duct diameter. Contact some good dealers and tell them what you have as well as space between any cabinets. The store should be able to guide you to what you need to fulfill your wants. Hoods can be changed out to a larger size (space and duct work permitting). If you google Eurostoves, ask for Trevor Lawson. He has a wealth of info.They sell BS and others. Right now I believe they have $1200 in groceries with a purchase. Not sure though. Again, good luck.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

jn99: BS burners will not disappoint. They are great. They resemble the burners on the old Garland commercial, which was built by BS years ago. Very powerful indeed. We have the 48 inch with 8 burners. We use a Lodge cast iron grill/griddle when we need to. Otherwise, we have 1 simmer, 2 each 22K and the remainder are the 17K btu burners. If we had to do it over, we would get a second simmer. It is solidly constructed. There are other ranges on the market that look nicer, and have more spit and polish to them and will do an admiral job of helping you cook. Their burners don't have the same output with the exception of the Five Star. Some are less expensive, others more expensive. Very few have an oven with the capacity of accepting a full size baking sheet - BS handles this well. It really boils down to what you are going to be happy with. I can tell you the BS offers a 2 year warranty with their White Glove service and they can explain it better than I can. Keep checking ALL the range topics in the appliance forum for additional opinions and facts. Again, good luck.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I've had my BS 30" (red) for a few weeks now and love it!! The 22K burners are stellar, I acutally had two large canning pots side by side on the front burners which made the canning process a breeze. I've made muffins, biscotti, yorkshire pudding and a sirloin tip roast in the oven so far and the performance was exceptional. I've only used the broiler once and could use any advice/tips regarding this feature. Good luck!!


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I went through the same decision process as you are experiencing. I decided on the Bluestar. So then I started reading the forums ( I mean ever last one on this site ) and they scared me off . I was saving money for my purchase more or less mad money I did not want my wife to know how much money I was going to blow on this purchase. So I had plenty of time to do research (several years). I concerned myself with trying to make ready the range area for what ever size, type, and brand of range ended up with . You have to have a powerful vent system to actually be able to use the large burners. A little hint Keep in mind a 800 CFM is basically the total output of a 2 ton air conditioner no problem in the winter but a load in the summer. I really want a 48 inch range I had the room but had one tall cabinet in the way . My kitchen is very small it would have trigger a domino type remodel so I forced myself to limit it to a 36 range. I installed a new hood system and limited myself to 800 cfm but at 42 inch. I thought about the forums and decide to get the Bluestar I fix it myself if that's what it took. So I reconfigured the gas and electric connections to be compatible with the new range and tiled a bit of the exposed surface of the back wall. I decided on the heritage. I was going to make that griddle my ghetto French top and actually I thought I had little other use for it. Boy I was wrong about that. Second day I decided to break in the griddle making hamburgers it need the grease so it would not rust . I did 8 patties hamburger in 24 minutes the cooking, mess, and cleanup was much simpler than with a pan. I fry shrimp and chicken way to much but that griddle is the best drainer and warmer for fried items I ever seen. I warm it up and put a layer of news paper and cover it with paper towels. Out of the pan I predrain once then put it up on the griddle then I cover it with a chopping block. I use to uses the oven.
I loved this range. I still wish I had a big one. I was being cheap and saved that 200 set up fee let me tell you I pay the 200 dollar If I had to do it again. The freight driver did put it on the sidewalk . That thing was a monster for me to move by myself


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

My wife had always wanted large kitchen; a gathering place with room. We spent 25 years in the military and endured all manner of small kitchens ( alot of houses/apartmens were in the 900 square foot range) and when "we retired" in 1995, bought 1971 ranch house with a galley kitchen that measured wall to wall 10 feet by 21 fet, with cabinetry on both long walls. This was the largest kitchen we had ever had. The cabinets were falling apart, the small wall oven only worked once in a while, and the cook top needed the elements replaced. It is what God provided for us and we made the best of it. There was 5 feet of clear space between the cabinets: not a gathering place and you sure couldn't call it an eat in kitchen. Within a year, we started planning on a remodel (1996). In September 2008, we borrowed against the house, removed the exterior wall and enlarged the kitchen. It now measures 21 feet by 26 feet. It took a lot of years to get there. We both work 2 jobs to supplement my retired enlisted pay. The kitchen remodel, including cabinets, and the new appliances cost nearly the same as we originally paid for the house. We are empty nesters and senior citizens. My advice is to do the research, do not compromise on what you want, and if you cannot do it today, there is always tomorrow (or the next decade). We do not entertain, only the kids when the visit from out of town. But I did all the research, the wife did all the design and we stayed within budget. It took 9 months for the project to be completed. The kitchen ended up the size it is because we would not compromise on what we wanted. We built around the island (4' by 8') and the 48 inch range. And needed room for a large table that when extended would seat 10/12 people (Thanksgiving, Christmas). It was a dream that took years to realize. Every room in the house is outdated, small and cramped; limited closets, etc. This is our first house and our last. And the kitchen is the only remodel that this house will ever see. I guess what I am saying is that in this thread and in other parts of the appliance forum there is a lot of angst in what to get; there is a lot of desperation (real/imangined) in that it has to happen now; and looking for reassurance that your choice is a wise choice. Take your time, research, and get what you want/need. Make adjustments if necessary. If your home has a garage, and you cannot fit a 36 or 48 inch range in your kitchen, maybe you can remove a cabinet that you store canned and dry good in and place it in the garage and create the space you need! Maybe you have a non-loadbearing wall adjacent to the dining room that can be taken out creating a large open "Waltons Mountain" type of arrangement. There are possibilities. Sometime one must give up something in order to get something. We have given up retirement to get our kitchen. In the end, make it yours. (sorry for the reference to God but HE has always given us what we needed. When it comes to what we want, we are on our own.) I did visit the AR site and the range looks very nice. I am not to sure about the oven having a defrost feature but that is a personal thing. Good luck to all.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I have an 30" American Range which I love. I picked it for its oven capacity. I like the sealed burners but I think that is a personal thing. I love the way the convection works (it has two fans) and it is relatively quiet. I also love the broiler -- it is fabulous. I would be happy to answer any specific questions you have. I have been using my range about four months now.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I am definitely torn. The Bluestar is so tempting because of the burners but I keep coming back to the build quality and countless stories of all the problems (both minor and not-so-minor) that I've read about here on this forum. I know you can find similar stoies about most brands but the issues with Bluestar concern me (for various reasons) and I can see the build quality just isn't up to par.

The American Range on the other hand seems to be built like a tank and finished out much better but there is nothing exciting and no real advantages cooking wise with its sealed burners. Decisions, decisions...

I think I see the BS as the range with both the greatest upside potential but also the greatest potential for disappointment, frustation, and buyer's remorse.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Not sure how much more we can tell you. There are obviously plenty of us who are very happy with Bluestar. Enough for us to spend time describing why we like it but if you are still concerned, go with your gut. At the end of they day it's your dime not ours. We've already made our decision and simply want to share our positive feedback.

When I did my research, there were probably fewer than 5 people with problems of various degree. I found that most people with positive responses make one or two posts when a thread like this comes up but the handful of people with problems post a lot more. Completely understandable since they feel the need to vent and feel they have been cheated. That's not to dismiss their problems but simply point out that the number of posts you see may not represent the number of people who are happy vs unhappy.

Ultimately, take everything (good or bad) you read anywhere online with a huge grain of salt. Most of it is probably posted with good intent but all of it is based on personal experience and individual preferences.

Good luck.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Love my BlueStar. I stressed as well and have no regrets.
Good luck in whatever your selection is.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I think you would be happier with the American range IMO


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Okay, Trevor. You can't leave it like that! :>) Can you give more information on that please?


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

To be honest I think it comes down to Cooking or Looking.

1)Is the Bluestar the best looking range.......NO
2)Has Bluestar had growing problems......YES (Dramatically less these days)
3)Can you read about poor Bluestar service.....YES (that's in the past, Matt Schutte is doing an excellent job)
4)Could Bluestar improve the finish.....YES.
5)Do more people recommend / love cooking on a Bluestar Range than any other range mentioned on the site.....YES
6)Does BLUESTAR cook the A** off every other range made in the US.....DARN RIGHT IT DOES.(IMO)

I was at an Appliance Show today and the owner of a Pro Range Company came over to me and asked why I sell so many Bluestar ranges and not so many of his ranges, I said to him
"I am a simple man that is interested in what a range can do rather than what it looks like, I can make more money if I sell your range, but I can make more customers happy who are interested in cooking if I sell a Bluestar range.

As I say to many customers it always comes down to 3 things

Money .....(How much you are willing to spend)
Function...(Features and Benefits)
Form.......(What it looks like)

Only that particular customer can make the decision what order they go in

The Bluestar video's on our website only talk about the function of the range / cooktop not about the looks or finish, because that is what a Bluestar range or cooktop is all about.... what it does.... We can all see many other ranges all with the same features as each other some will cost more some will cost less some look nicer than others.

Is Bluestar for everyone…..Probably not.

I should also say that many customers who visit our store and see the bluestar for the first time actually say "it looks a lot nicer than I thought after reading posts on websites such as the GW. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.....

(I do sincerely hope no offense is taken by this post)


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Trevor is right on with his comments! You cannot get a more honest piece of advice than what he provided.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Thanks Trevor. That helps a lot.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Tell me about the ventilation requirements of the 30" BS RNB range. We currently have a OTR microwave and rarely use the exhaust fan on it.

I note that a poster above mentioned something about needing powerful vent systems and venting capacity.

Our kitchen is small and I don't know where else we'd put a microwave without losing valuable cabinet or countertop space.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I think Trevor's comments outline the reasons both to buy and to avoid Bluestar. Hence my trouble deciding (still!). One thing however, form is not just about looks. I have not commented on looks (I said BS doesn't look as well put together) as to me the ranges look pretty much the same. Rather my concern with regards to form is an overall quality and longevity concern from what I percieve to be a much lower build quality and "rougher" fit and finish.

One more question for you BS owners - do all the burners simmer or just the simmer burner? The BS site mentions the simmer burner goes to 130 but I didn't see mention of the lowest setting on the other burners.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

jn99: The simmer burner is the only simmer burner as such. You can order more than one (I believe). My wife regularly will have a 12 or 16 quart pot "simmering" on one of the other burners on a low setting. Owing to the number of ports in the burner, and the number of individual flames, I doubt that one can factually call it a simmer, but we do. And we stir regularly. It is afterall an open flame and bears keeping an eye on things. There are also aftermarket 'flame tamers' made of cast iron that may help turn a normal burner into a semi simmer burner on the low setting but I think it ultimately depends upon what you are doing and the size of the vessel. We are happy with our BS and it has not disappointed us. Personally I feel the construction is robust and is very attractive in the kitchen. The fit and finish are good in my opinion and yes, there are ranges out there with a more upscale or fancier type of finish which we were simply not interested in.
You stated in part:
"built like a tank and finished out much better but there is nothing exciting and no real advantages cooking wise with its sealed burners. Decisions, decisions..."

It would seem that your are torn between fit/finish and performance. It is your decision and you will have to go with what will make you happy now and on into the future. It is a personal choice and we went with performance. The only accessory that we wish it had that most all other ranges have is a temperature gage. But it just was not that important to sacrifice the performance we wanted over a range with added features and more spit and polish. I think we took about 2 1/ to 3 months to make the final decision. Good luck.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

All the Bluestar burners simmer. Simmering is relative to the size of the pan and how much is in the pan. A 24qt stockpot half full of stock will not simmer on the so called simmer burner.

Simmer is defined as.....Simmering is a cooking technique in which foods are cooked in hot liquids kept at or just barely below the boiling point of water[1] (at average sea level air pressure), 100C (212F) and higher than poaching. To keep a pot simmering, one brings it to a boil and then adjusts the heat downward until just before the formation of steam bubbles stops completely. Water normally begins to simmer at about 94C (200F).


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Honestly, the only time you'll really need the super low simmer is melting chocolate (or other candy) or making something like risotto. Most things that people typically consider simmering such as making rice or soup doesn't require such a low simmer. In those cases, any burner set to it's lowest setting works fine. I find that brown rice cooks best on one of the mid sized burners set to low. Cooks faster than on the "simmer" burner and comes out the same if not better. I find myself rotating burners just so I don't use just one all the time because they all perform so well.

At the end of the day, you have to decide if you like how the Bluestar looks and if you believe the build quality is what you are looking for. I personally don't see anything wrong with the build quality and actually like the way it looks. For once I have to disagree with Trevor. :) To say that other brands have a better finish than Bluestar is a bit too black and white. I think it's a matter of opinion. Heck, Wolf made a brand out of the "restaurant" look. Ten years ago, people would say, "Wolf cooks great but it's not as refined or finished as Viking or Thermador." To each his (or her) own.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I've spent some time watching and in some cases re-watching some of Trevor's videos on the BS this morning. Definitely nice since there is no place with a live unit near me. I think it also answered a few of the questions I had so thanks Trevor.

For whatever reason a lot of these posts keep bringing up looks. This is not about looks - for me anyway - both the AR and the BS look very similar, apart from the cooktop obviously. It's about build qaulity and reports of missing screws and stripped or no threads etc. as well as what I've seen in terms of the use of screws at all (as opposed to welds or fabrication) and the general misalignment of some of the parts and rough fit I've seen in the showroom. Does this affect cooking? I don't know, I suppose probably not. Longevity? maybe so, which is the concern. Again, it's not about looks - for me at least.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

amcook......you are right looks and finish are not so black and white as I made it sound, it is a matter of opinion,

I stand corrected :)

jn99..... I think the missing screw or no thread mostly relates to the leveling screws for the grates, bluestar did for a short time stop putting the leveling screws in the ranges, that decision has now been reversed, so all ranges should have a full compliment of screws and threads.

I am not sure what you mean by misalignment, but i will say that IMO the range will stand the test of time from a structural perspective. The other thing to consider is that the white glove install check takes care of any smaller issues you have with your new range.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

jn99,

Some or most of the issues you bring up are related to bad installs. I had an installer leave my house without checking for leaks even though I specifically asked him if he did a leak check. I found a leak the following morning right above the cut-off valve. This was certainly not Bluestar's fault but they called in their own second tier technician from about 2hrs away to fix it. He also double checked everything to make sure the rest looked good.

With regard to "misalignments"... Not sure if you are referring to the grates or the oven door or something else but I've seen oven doors that don't close right because the range was not correctly leveled at install. For example one of the four legs or opposing diagonal legs are too short. This can cause the whole chassis to flex just enough to cause things to not fit right. This was on a restaurant (i.e. heavy duty) range which was arguably sturdier than any range built for the home. I have confidence that mine will last me just as long if not longer than a similar Viking or Wolf or . If you head over to some other forums, you'll see so much Viking bashing you would not believe they are still in business. Just depends on who you are talking to and how loudly they complain.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Well after much additional consideration, reading here and elsewhere and a couple more trips to the local appliance showroom, I think it's going to be a Bluestar for us.

I do have a few more questions for you Bluestar owners.

For those of you with the high shelf/backguard. Do you find it gets in the way at all when you use the back burners? Does the underside impede air flow to the hood at all? We'll be getting the 30" RNB and want to get the high shelf. Also, do you use a hood with heatlamps and find that works well warming items on the shelf? We're trying to decide whether or not to get a hood with heatlamps - the one we had originally chosen does not have the option.

Lastly, we've noticed on all the BS ranges we've seen in the showroom (6 of them!) that they often have wobbly grates - some wobble just a little, others are "off" by an 1/8th of an inch or more. Is this common? Does it affect cooking at all and is it easily fixed or will BS replace grates if they are wobbly?

Again, thanks to everyone for the replies here - it has been most helpful in the decision making process.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Okay, now I am replying to my own posts, well sort of. Talking to myself, call me crazy...

I just realized that the high shelf I saw and measured (which was on a 48" Heritage Classic) and the one I would get on the 30" RNB are different heights. That is odd, why does BS make them shorter on the 30"?

I found the one on the display seemed just high enough to hopefully not interfere use of the the back burners but seeing now that that shelf is actually 2" shorter on on the 30" RNB, I really wonder if there will be enough room on with the lower shelf. Hoping some folks with the backguard and shelf on the RNBs can respond before I order.

Thanks!


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Don't have a shelf but have used a range with a shelf in a restaurant kitchen and IMHO, it's not worth it unless you are really in need of a bit more counter space. The shelf was a pain when using tall stock pots and such.

One reason they are probably shorter one a 30" is simply proportion. A shelf that looks like the right height on a 48" will likely look too tall on a 30". Just my guess.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

From cooktop to the underside of the shelf is 16 1/2" the shelf extends out 10"

The Heritage range has a higher back due to the Raised Griddle.

We always recommend the 1" / island trim for the Bluestar ranges, anything higher will scorch and restrict centering larder skillets on the back burners


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I am using the 1" island trim. Can someone please confirm that I need to install fireproof material 6" below the top of the range? It's a bit confusing because where the metal island trim piece gets attached is 6" below the top of the range. Just trying to make sure if I need additional protection or not. Thanks!


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

My Bluestar is awaiting install and here it what is says in the manual:

"All ranges require a backguard. Most models
have the option of using: an island trim; 6
inch standard; 17 inch hi-back; 21 inch high
shelf. Heritage Classic models require a 21
inch high shelf for all installations.
If you are using an island trim a six inch
clearance between the back of the range and a
combustible surface is required. If an island
trim is to be used without this six inch clearance
the back wall must be non-combustible
and heat resistant material that extends below
the top surface of the range a minimum of six
inches."

I am going to use the higher 6" backsplash but just for security I plan to tile the whole way down behind the range. I will use some tiles left over from my bathroom remodel as they will not be seen.

Good luck.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Buffalotina,

I also have the 6" backsplash but did NOT have to tile below the range. It is fine without doing so. I'd go 6" below the range only if you think you'd ever change out the backsplash to the island trim in the future. Better to do that now without the range in place but it would be overkill to go all the way down behind the range.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Yes, I realize it is not necessary - thank you for pointing that out. I may change to the island trim in the future and since I have tiles sitting around doing nothing I thought I would tile down far enough to support changing to the smaller trim down the road. Then that easily crept to thinking I might as well go all the way down to the floor. Overkill it may be - but this whole kitchen is bordering on overkill :) !!


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I think the Bluestar is the best _cooking_ range and as a cook that is why I picked it. It is waiting in my garage (!) for my remodel but I made enough research and have played with friends ranges that I am sure of the choice. I also think that the 36" oven is really big and now that I've added a smaller 24" wall oven to my plans I think I maybe should have gotten the 6-burners cooktop and saved myself a couple thousand dollars, but that does not detract from the cooking qualities.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I want to thank everyone on this site. I would have never considered buying a Blue Star or an American Range if it weren't for this site. The information posted has been very helpful.

I have spend many hours researching both products on-line and finally took the time to visit Albert Lee Appliance in Bellevue (near Seattle) for this store has both American Range and Blue Star 30" ranges on display.

American Range had a great display (near the front of the
store) with many ranges.

There was a unique Step-Up range wherein the the rear burners were elevated. According to the sales person (who was extremely helpful) the commercial version of the Step-Up is used in restaurants. I really liked the look and placement of the high-BTU burners and I could see the advantages but I had my mind set on a more traditional pro-range.

The look of the American Range was very nice. Clean edges and corners, sturdy grates, clear graphics, blue burner lights and no big logo (which will bend well with my other appliances). The door was solid. It closed like a well built car door (no rattling like with the Blue Star).

The oven cavity was huge and accommodated a commercial sheet pan; which was actually in the oven! Dual convection fans and a special commercial convection technology that generated, '7-minute pre-heat times to 375F'! I was amazed by that statement but the sales person reassured me for he has an American Range in his house. This is great for now I don't have to wait 20-minutes to begin cooking/baking!

American uses a metal infrared broiler burner in the oven. The sales person stated it sears steaks quickly and this burner is used in their commercial products. My biggest concern was cleaning the burner and given the steel construction, I can clean it with a scrubbing pad. I have an outdoor BBQ with a ceramic infrared burner and that burner became useless after 6-months of use. I could never clean it in fear of damaging the burner.

I liked the burner locations and sizes on the American. The small burner is perfect for my small saute pans and the large burner will work well with my large stock pot. The BTU on the large burner is 17,000.

Albert Lee had an American broiler and griddle version on display. The grill was impressive. American uses the same steel broiler burner on the range top that they also use in the oven cavity. The sales person stated that the surface temperature reaches ~700F! Wow, a true searing station! In Seattle, being able to grill inside is a must.

Albert Lee had 2 Blue Star ranges on the floor. The Blue Star didn't look finished. No graphics for the controls, exposed screw heads and sharp corners. As I mentioned before, the door rattled when closing and opening.
The big push (like every post I read) was the 22,000 BTU open burner. Open burner vs sealed burner, now I'm not too concerned about the cleaning problems and maintenance of open burner, because 22,000 BTU is impressive. I like the videos on the Blue Star website for that burner is great for pan frying and tempura cooking. My concern is that low heat/ simmer is only available on one-burner. In addition, all the burners are the same size. If I use a small saute pan or pot I will have poor flame coverage because the flames will lick the sides of my pots and pans.

The American Range burners offers two low simmer settings. The sales person stated that the 'ultra-low' setting can melt butter on the paper plate without burning the plate.

Albert Lee has a combination griddle/broiler range on display. Very commercial looking but again looked unfinished and unattractive. The burner is aluminized steel not stainless steel which is a lower grade steel.

I was unimpressed with the Blue Star oven. Granted it was large but with only one oven light, one convection fan and a ceramic broiler burner (no, not ceramic again!) I was left saying. 'that's it'. I never read about the performance of the Blue Star oven and now I know why. Because there isn't much to say. It's an oven. Whereas with the American Range oven I routinely read about the exceptional performance. I did like the rolling rack inside the Blue Star; something that American Range should add.

I spend around an hour comparing the two brands. I feel the American Range 30" is be a better product. Blue Star offers the 22,000 BTU open burner and that's it. In my opinion, the American Range 30" offers more value and commercial grade features than Blue Star's 30", without having the range look commercial. Also having a sales person who owns an American Range in their own home was also very helpful.

What I found interesting is that American Range is the only pro-range company with true commercial roots. American Range builds ranges for Ruth's Chris and several other restaurants in the Seattle area.

So, after extensively researching both brands I'm going with American Range and ready to cook like a pro!

Again, thank you for those who had posted on the various threads. The research has been enlightening and rewarding


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

It sounds like you've got a great salesman there to work with, which you mention by name several times and seem to have their complete American Range pitch down well, as if you could give it yourself.

I'm glad you registered yesterday to post it.

I'll take it as "informed opinion" and state that BlueStar comes from the same roots as the Garland commercial ranges.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I disagree with so many points in Pacwest cooks post that i don't know where to start.

So i think i will leave it at that :)


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Guess pacwest_cook joined to shill American Range.

The link below shows 2 photos of my 36" Bluestar RNB- one of the 22k burner holding about a quart of water at 179F, the other of the 15k burner holding about an inch of chicken stock at 179F.

And the flames won't "lick up the sides" of anything that's about 6" in diameter or bigger. At least not any more than they would with any other gas range out there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos on chowhound


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Wow!

I'm a little shocked by the responses to my post. My intent was to report my personal opinion and findings. Why would a sales person (who owns the product) misinform me. Blue Star is a nice brand, was never discounted by the sales person (in fact the 22,000 BTU burner was promoted) and appears to have a strong (even defense) following on this forum.

My American Range 30" will be installed once my re-model is finished. I will report back once it is installed.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Yep, the BS crowd can be a pretty passionate lot, and as a result come across as defensive at times.

I found your post interesting as I too shopped at Albert Lee and know who your salesman is/was. I also know the main reason he chose American over Bluestar and wasn't performance. He in no way pushed one brand over the other when we were shopping and in fact told me I knew more about the ranges than he did with all my research - thanks to this forum :-)

I agree with some of your observations, primarily those on build quality and appearance. In this department the AR wins hands down IMO. However, since I started researching and really thinking about using the range it was BS that I kept coming back to. It's not just about BTUs but the way the burner performs compared to the sealed type. As probably 90+% of my cooking is done on the cooktop and not the oven, I wanted something offering more and there is really only one range, BS, that offers that.

As for videos, it sounds like you haven't yet seen the one's on Trevor's site. Do a search for BS videos and go watch em'. You may find yourself reconsidering BS. There is nothing wrong with your choice and if you are choosing form over function you made the right choice and again, there is nothign wrong with that. I think the AR is an awesome range and it is a beautiful piece of equipment. The cooktop however, is still rather pedestrian to me.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Thanks jn99

I greatly appreciate your input! I'm going to look at the video.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Great post jn99. This thread could have spun out of control without your thoughtful response.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

packwest:
You made the following comment: "Why would a sales person (who owns the product) misinform me."

If this is a serious question, here are some answers from my own experiences:

So why would a sales person misinform?

1. Commission. Dealers often offer better commissions for their sales people on products they are trying to move. The reason why the dealer is trying to move them might include better margins, meeting manufacturer quotas, excess stock on hand, one manufacturer pissed off the owner somehow, etc.

2. Targeting. This is a strategy many experience sales people use to make a sale. They basis of this is if they validate any preconceptions the buyer has, then the sale will go easier. If you go in with a heavy preference to how American Range product look over Bluestar and you don't sound like you're hooked on the Bluestar's ability to cook, then it's a lot easier sale to promote the cooking ability of American Range. Bascially, it's easier to remove the obstacles of a boulder rolling down a hill than to stop that boulder and roll it back up in a different direction.

3. Personal preference. Let's just assume he does own an American Range which I never take a face value. I don't know how many times I've walked into an appliance store or an electronics store and the sales person just happens to own the $5000 receiver I'm looking at. But for sake of argument let's say he does own it. Doesn't that just mean that his opinion may just be guided partially by his bias. Certainly, if you share the exact same needs as the sales person and trust them to make your decision for you then that's fine but I'll wager that neither of these are true.

4. Off book incentives. Not saying this is always the case and certainly not claiming American Range is guilty of this but in sales, there are situations where the regional distributor will offer up perks to sales people who sell the most units in a month. Common things are gift cards, sporting tickets, invite to special parties or events, etc. These are not exactly illegal but the possibility does make me question any sales person that's too gung-ho for a particular brand.

My best advice is to take any sale's person's advice as just that.. advice. Never assume they have your best interest at heart. I *can* guarantee you that most on this forum don't have anything to gain or lose by you choosing one brand over another. Some of us may voice strong opinions on one matter or another but in most cases, it is with the best intentions. Can you be sure your sales person is just as impartial?

I do own a Bluestar and love it. I want to share my opinions because I'm egotistical and think my opinions matter. :) Other than that, I have no motives for offering up my opinion. That said, Bluestar or not, I'd strongly advise you to reconsider sealed vs open burners. Having owned and used both, I can say that in my experience, open burners have a huge advantage in cooking performance.

Good luck with whatever you choose.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

amcook,

Thank you for the note. Your points are very valid. I'm about to drop around $4,000 on a range and want to make a informed buying decision.

I'm going to continue my research.

I felt as if I was being attacked.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

pacwest_cook -- you seem to be an expert on American Range and how you 'think Blue Star copied American Range. My local dealer in Seattle will be installing this model shortly. '

Interesting that you have already made up your mind without seeing the piece.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bluestar double gas oven advice, please.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

It's my natural skepticism that someone who just signed up yesterday and promptly posted about 900 words on why American Range is better is here for an ulterior motive. Otherwise, pacwest_cook is just naive or didn't apply any critical thinking to what the salesman said. That and there are way too many exclamation points in that post.

I honestly don't have a dog in this hunt. I haven't even seen an American Range to comment. But the inferred shortcomings of the Bluestar really aren't accurate.

More thoughts:

-I'm not surprised that a well-loved floor model has an oven door that rattles; YMMV when actually purchasing (my door doesn't after 3.5 years)

-The Bluestar oven also holds a full-size sheet pan. The claims on preheat time seem odd. The main way to get something to heat faster is to, well, add more heat. If you aren't doing that, I don't think it's going to make a huge difference.

- I just can't imagine cleaning a gas oven broiler in the top of the oven. Esp. on something that's running at 1000+F and burns everything off. Ceramic vs. metal is potaytoh, patahtoh.

- See above post on simmering. You're mistaken if you think the Bluestar won't. Have no idea about melting butter on a paper plate- I generally use a pan.

- The conclusion about "true commercial roots" seems odd since the Bluestar is essentially the son-of-Garland when Garland got out of the residential market. As to where they're used, whatever, the Bluestar is (at least I hear) on the Next Iron Chef these days. And Martha had a Viking last I looked.

I have no idea how the prices compare. And if I was in the market I might make a different decision after doing all the research again.

But you just can't paraphrase back that much salesman-speak here without getting called on it.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

sfjeff I bought my 48" American Range sight unseen. I did see the step up model in the northern n.j. appliance store.
It did feel alot better built then the blue star. IMO I like the A.R. better. I did have some problems but after all was said and done I was very satisfied with the service I recieved from the manufacturer. Granted if I was going to buy a blue star the only person I would buy it from would be Trevor Lawsen.

pacwest thanks for offering your experience with us.

john
917-842-1809


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Wow, these postings have taken me down a new road since yesterday. I have bought, but its not delivered so I'm going to cancel it, the Kenmore Pro Range from Sears. Went looking for a hood, ended up at Albert Lee in Bellevue (I an NOT related to or familiar with pacwest cook) yesterday and became VERY interested in the American Range. Came here to look up reviews and WHAMO! Found out about BlueStar. Watched all of Trevor's videos and even called him (nice guy!). After many hours here and on Trevor's site I'm headed back up to the local store to look at the BS in person. If I get the BS, I think I'll buy from Trevor since he has given me so much info and has shipping for $99. His customer service should be rewarded.
Thanks to all who took the time to post their thoughts!


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

junky...I think I saw that Kenmore range when I was buying a freezer for my lab and could not believe the price they were asking for it. If you do want the Bluestar I think I can safely say you would not get better service and product knowledge anywhere than with Trevor. Mine is twixt delivery and hookup right now and he has been exemplary in answering every question and worry I have had regarding this purchase and the installation of both the range and the hood. Mine was purchased almost sight unseen. I did briefly see it in his store but was primarily interested in other options at that point and did not look too closely, so I have been worrying quite a bit! Best of luck with your decision.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

buffalotina, I went back to the local store and took a closer look at the BS and the American Range. BS is pretty darn cool! And while the look of the top of the BS range definitely looks more industrial, I really like that. The sales person did say that she thinks its the best stove for the money. She has a Viking she bought right after she started working there, but said if she had it to do over again she would choose between BS & AR.

I'm watching The Next Iron Chef right now. I had heard that the show has chosen BlueStar for their stoves this year. They look pretty darn good there! They have the red ones!

Which brings to mind a new question: I will have white bead board cabinets, white plank ceiling, tuscan yellow walls (not too many walls showing) and reclaimed plank wood floors. I would love the red stove, but will it look "dated" some day or stand out too much in the kitchen? Any opinions?


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

No matter what you pick, perhaps other than white, it will be "dated" -- give it 10 years and real estate agents will be "politely" saying, "Oh, how nice, that turn-of-the century faux commercial look!" Come to think of it, white is "dated" right now. Get the color you love, you're the one buying the range and living with it. You've only got something like 190 color choices with BlueStar...


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Thanks for your thoughts on color sfjeff! I like your final recommendation!


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Our ruby red Bluestar is approaching its' 2 month anniversary and I couldn't be happier with the color. I was hesitant at first about the color but I love the color even more than when I purchased it. As to the performance I'm extremely pleased but the local service company's response time could have been better. A problem with the broiler was discovered during the white glove inspection, my DH(who was home for the service call) was informed it should take just a few days to receive the part. Two weeks later I contacted the local service company to check on the status and was told I could contact the manufacturer or he would and contact me the next day. I contacted Matt at BS and explained the situation and he indicated he would send a duplicate part--3 days later the service company contacted me to schedule a service appointment. The new ignitor has since been installed but I haven't had a chance to thoroughly test the broiler


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

junky...your kitchen sounds lovely. Personally I am not sure about red (well a bright red anywho) with Tuscan yellow, but that said, Bluestar gives you heaps of options within the red, orange and yellow tones. Since you are spoilt for choice it makes sense to get a look at the RAL color fan deck with all the available colors, preferably in your space. I bet you would find one you love that would work really well with your color scheme & design plan.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

junky - redrange (just like you) out on FKB has a ruby red BlueStar with yellow cabinets. It is not what you are doing but it might give you another photo of the BlueStar to consider. It is a very hard decision but I wonder how much it costs if you change your mind down the road. Could they swap out the door? I know it wouldn't be cheap but it would not be $4k.

buffalotina - I have found it really hard to select a color even though they have 190 choices. I never thought I would have that problem. I will probably have creamy yellow cabinets and I am a little stumped.

Here is a link that might be useful: Redrange's kichen


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Well I must say I do love that red, yellow & blue combination. Very chipper. But, what the heck is that "backsplash" behind the range - it certainly does not look like a fireproof material. Looks very dangerous IMHO.

junky: I think the right red with the right yellow would be excellent.

odiegirl: - I love blue and I was determined to have a blue range. With the fan deck it was not hard for me to decide on which blue, taking into account my cabinets (also a creamy yellow!) and the general vibe of my kitchen design.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Can you tell me what you picked buffalotina? Who knew selecting a range would be one of my hardest decisions.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I'm at risk of hijacking this thread and dragging it way off topic so I'll email you separately :)


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

I'm buying my Bluestar tomorrow and decided to go with stainless instead of the red I was leaning toward. Didn't want to "tire" of the color someday. Going to do a nice tile backsplash that has lemons painted on it (not custom...found a great company that has them at a great price for this weekend only.
I said earlier that I wanted to buy it from Trevor since the videos on his website really helped me make the decision, BUT, the local store has an amazing price on it.
For anyone in the Seattle area -- this weekend Albert Lee is having a warehouse sale and all locations are carrying the 30" Bluestar for (drum roll, please) $2,799!!! Unbelievable!! If you go to the Bellevue store ask for Lindsey. She is great! She knew I was going to buy the Bluestar and called me at home today to let me know ahead of time about the price for this weekend only. And this is NOT a scratch and dent, but a brand new, made to order Bluestar. I'm JAZZED!


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Wow, and I thought the previous deal was good! Is that for the RNB model? Thanks for posting this. Our 30" RNB is already on order from AL (in fact it's in the warehouse awating delivery next week!) but hopefully they will adjust the price for me. Of course, my salesperson did not call me but then again neither did Lindsey when we were shopping and she was supposed to be following up, which is why she didn't get the sale in the end...


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Yes, its the RNB (ok...I'm assuming it is). I'm going to call Lindsey shortly and I'll definitely make sure it is. Too bad Lindsey didn't follow up with you! Her loss.

Have fun with your range! I'm really looking forward to it. I feel like I'm a kid getting the best toy on the block!


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

If its the RNB304BSS I will fly over and buy 50 units today


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Must be RCS which runs around $3K (+/-)


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Better not be RCS. I will feel tricked! Didn't get a hold of my salesperson today, just exchanged voice messages. Will update tomorrow.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

OK, Here's the scoop... it IS the RNB 304BSS!! Brand new! The sale is on only until the end of today, but if you want, I "think" you can purchase it over the phone. Here's the phone number for Albert Lee Appliances: (425) 451-1110 and Lindsey's extension is 1615.

Trevor, I'm SO SORRY I'm not buying it from you. You have been such a help and an invaluable source of info for the Bluestar! But I just can't pass up this price right here in my own town.

Here is a link that might be useful: Albert Lee Appliances


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

That is a deal then, I believe the RCS is around $3K and the RNB is about a grand more, no? I have an RCS and just starting using it during the last couple of days. Too early to comment, but the quality is questionable on the build, and it is not the greatest looking range I have seen for the money. And for a brand new stove, I have a simmer burner not working correctly.


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did anyone buy from albert lee today?

curious....

Trish


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

They are major marked up to begin with, like all pro look ranges. Big margins.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

junky22 - thanks for the tip! I was able to reorder and save a substantial amount thanks to you.

Trevor - Hope you were able to get your 50 units ;-)


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Pete p ny....Bluestar ranges and cooktops are not marked up with big margins they have the same margins every other appliance has.

jn99....If it wasn't for the fact I would be feeding the foolish distributor that service Albert Lee I would have.



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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

jn99 - Yea! Glad I could help!! Can't wait to get my range!


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

Not a big margin for the retailer...but for Bluestar. Like all high end things, they bring in big margins. The run of the mill stuff is volume and small margins. Just the fact this appliance store can mark down the RNB $1000 and people are still making money...?? How much do you think Bluestar costs to make these? I am actually surprised they sold at such a discount, I guess Bluestar allows this? Usually these companies have tight controls over the retailers pricing.


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RE: Bluestar vs. American Range

>>They are major marked up to begin with, like all pro look ranges. Big margins. >>

Welcome to retailing! No, seriously...everything you buy, pretty much, is hugely marked up as it passes from raw commodity to processor to warehouse to distributor to store. Buy a $800 cashmere suitjacket and you're getting less than $100 of fabric there. As an amateur seamstress I cringe when I see $40+ baby clothes, knowing there's about 50 cents worth of fabric, at most. But you know, it isn't worth my time to sew baby clothes, any more than it's worth it for you to farm goats and spin their wool into sweaters.

Grudging manufacturers their profit margins, when so many people are fixated on the Wal-Mart model of constantly declining prices that has driven so many other retailers out of business, is pointless.


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