Sub-Zero, Wolf worth it?


Almost without exception for high end residences; architects specifies a Sub-Zero refrigerator and most likely a Wolf range. 

Integrated panels, open burners, high btu.... name tag. My apartment has a white ref. & a gas range probably from Sears. Does it's job and I have no real complaints, except that they look and feel cheap.

I recently spent the weekend at a really nice house with sub-zero & wolf. And I cooked everyday using both the range and the oven. The appliances looked and felt really good. But I wondered if the higher cost of them were justified over Fisher & paykel, True, GE Monogram, Thermadore, or even LG. 

Aug 3, 16 10:56 am

sub-zero is the best no competition for high end and quality. wolf i just do not like because od the red knobs.

Aug 3, 16 7:41 pm  · 

Wolf offers black or silver knobs as well. Not that that makes it worth the upsell.

Nov 30, 23 2:10 pm  · 

No.  They are buying them for the looks, and for the fantasy that they are gourmet cooks and well-rounded.  Most of them are working 60-70 hours a week to pay the mortgage, and eat most of their meals in a restaurant.  A home cooked meal is a delivered pizza.

Aug 4, 16 8:03 am  · 
Wood Guy

Low- and medium-end appliances work perfectly fine. If they didn't, they wouldn't be what most people have and use. That's not the point of high-end appliances, any more than expensive cars and expensive clothes work better than what most of us have. 

Aug 4, 16 9:58 am  · 

Maybe we shouldn't be saying these things publicly.  If mindless status seeking ever goes out of style, this economy is going to be in a world of hurt.

Aug 4, 16 10:08 am  · 
2  · 

you get a discount buying a bunch of appliances together, plus excellent customer service and warranties. Olaf, they also have black and stainless knobs now. 

Aug 4, 16 10:11 am  · 

Wood Guy, I think you hit the nail on the head. 

If you need to ask, you probably don't need it. But for most people it' brand recognition and prestige. 

Aug 4, 16 10:26 am  · 

Low- and medium-end appliances work perfectly fine. If they didn't, they wouldn't be what most people have and use. That's not the point of high-end appliances, any more than expensive cars and expensive clothes work better than what most of us have. 

Disagree.  GE in particular severely undercuts and has major incentives for big developers.  Example is a $700 frig they’ll sell for $100 to someone like Richmond homes, DR Horton, etc..  So, people see GE all over the f’n place. 

It’s like saying a vinyl window, because they are everywhere and most people have them, are freaking awesome.  The clothes and car analogy is good though.  You'll probably also have to face repairs and replace them every few years too.  

Aug 4, 16 11:20 am  · 
1  · 

yeah this is like saying "developer homes work fine, why should my client hire me, an architect, when most tract housing works just fine. Am I just a nametag they can put on their house??"

Dec 4, 23 2:04 pm  · 

I stuck a Sub-Zero in my parents house and at the time the next step below was a big drop in quality.  The dual compressors and the vacuum seal help keep the freezer and fridge items fresher for much longer than my GE fridge (though GE does make some nicer higher end lines).  Is it worth the mark up?  That depends on the turnover in the fridge and whether you're the kind of person that cares about the difference.

The stove is Viking and ovens Miele; they both look, feel and perform very well and have kept up with minimal maintenance over a decade - I can't say I've had similar experiences with 'lower' brands/lines.

I'd make a comparison with pots and pans - some nicer ones perform better than the stuff in super markets, but price isn't necessarily an indicator of quality or performance.

Aug 4, 16 3:36 pm  · 
Sam Apoc

We are re-doing our kitchen in the somewhat near future.  What do you all think is the sweet spot between cost / quality?

I don't care about brand recognition / prestige, but aesthetics are important to me.  For instance, the oven/range combo with the tall backsplash particularly irks me:

Aug 4, 16 4:31 pm  · 

In the last four years or so I have had the following refrigerators:

GE Monogram, Fisher Paykel, and Subzero.  

And the following ranges:

GE Monogram, Thermador and Wolf.  

The latest ones I have are the 4' Subzero and a 4' Wolf, with double oven.  I love them both for features that I could not find in less expensive appliances, like the large size, the heavy pull out glided racks in the oven, the low simmer to super high blast of heat on each burner, the built in griddle, the option for convection in each oven, etc.   I loved the Fisher Paykel fridge too-- everything was built better, heavier veggie drawers that just lifted right out to clean, better lighting, nicer design with less junky details.  They are much better than the GE, but when the GE was all I could afford, they were the best of the lot that I could find.  

I did not care about the name brand, but I was looking for quality.  I was willing to pay more because they make me happy every day, but I do wish there were better mid range options.  It seems like you go from a whole bunch of $1500 ranges to $4000 really fast with nothing in the middle.   It is just like most things-- if you can afford it you should buy what makes you happy.   For me it is my kitchen stuff versus a fancy car or clothes. In my experience, the more expensive brands do function better if you care about the details. 

Aug 4, 16 5:21 pm  · 

I found Kucht Appliances to fill that price gap. A solid, well built line of products at an affordable price

Oct 26, 18 5:36 pm  · 

Three refrigerators and three ranges in a span of four years?  And you're happy?

Aug 4, 16 5:32 pm  · 

thanks JLC-1, maybe I will go back to spec'ing them

Aug 4, 16 9:11 pm  · 

to some degree, a shitty-ok gas stove and nicer pots and pans might be a better value proposition for most homeowner clients. le creuset for the win.

Oct 27, 18 1:41 am  · 

Whats going on here?

  Ive lived in at least 6 different houses and have never done any maintenance on an oven. One refrigerator repair following a power outage. 

Oct 29, 18 9:00 am  · 
Non Sequitur

my oven light is burnt... and I'm too lazy to replace it. Is that considered a big maintenance item?

Oct 29, 18 9:06 am  · 
1  · 

Appliances are designed and made today with very cheap materials. Finishes are very fragile and there are many electronic components that will malfunction. In many cooking appliances, the logic board for the controls is not adequately protected from the heat of the oven and will fail fairly quickly (I'm talkin' about you Jenn-Air!).  I suspect a well-kept vintage appliance is the best thing you can buy.

Oct 29, 18 10:42 am  · 

Don't forget disposable designs; Had to replace a refrigerator because the ice crusher motor failed. Only way to fix was to replace the entire door, which cost as much as a new refrigerator. Ditto with a control board failure on the dryer; it was integrated into the panel, so you have to replace the top.

Oct 29, 18 12:03 pm  · 
( o Y o )


Oct 29, 18 10:24 am  · 

I am in the market for a new range and heavily leaning towards a Wolf.  I am on my second used Subzero.  The first was 12 years old when I brought it home and it lasted another 22 years.  They make their spare parts for ALL of their models no matter how old. I am hoping that this will be the last range I buy in my lifetime and my experiences with the fridge makes me think that if I get a Wolf I won't ever need to buy another range (I'm 62) 

Despite geezertect's experience I cook EVERY night and while I cheap out on nearly all things in my home or DIY it my stove important.  How it looks is nice but how it functions is everything and my Jade has been my workhorse for 19 years.  It is getting to the point where it is beyond fixing and they no longer make a commercial for residential range so I'm looking for Wolf or Viking 7 Series.  

Nov 30, 23 11:48 am  · 
1  · 

Every high end appliances we have installed in projects has been a punchlist nightmare. Horrible customer service from manufacturers, and nightmare installation. And god forbid a part stops working or a light is not turning on. Getting techs on site, trying to fix them, adds weeks to a project. 

Cant beat a good old slide in range and slide in fridge, plug in and you are done. GE has great selections without the custom bs. 

Nov 30, 23 5:49 pm  · 

I would add that the integrated flat panels that you can add to match the millwork is really quite a nice feature ... not sure that I could argue that it is any better than numerous other brands offer the same layout etc. I have Miele which mimics many of the same features as the sub zero for about 25% less and my wife and I are pretty happy with it.  Good features that seem to keep items from spoiling a bit longer.

As for a range we are also been pretty happy with induction cooktops from a few different manufacturers.  Gas is sexier looking for cooking but induction is likely the way we need to go in the future if everything needs to be electrified!

Nov 30, 23 6:43 pm  · 

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