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Fhiaba column refrigerator freezer anyone?

9 years ago

Has anyone seen these in person or have in their kitchen? FHIABA COLUMNS

Comments (68)

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    FYI dietitian - Gaggenau plays those same games of brinksmanship with their dealers too !

    Some cave and don't sell Miele, others tell them to go get bent and remove their stuff if they want, and others just roll the dice and see what if anything the mothership will do.

    It really depends on the relationship and the revenue source generated for a particular store and rep.

    Magnate - metal is studier than plastic , but not everyone goes for the commercial look , so those stainless drawers are going to turn off as many people as they excite. Changing a service network isn't exactly grounds for excitement either. Probably the most glaring drawback is the electronics you mention. I don't trust the Italians to design or manuf. reliable electronic components . They haven't been a leader in that arena since Marconi - and that was over a century ago. They can design beautiful buttons and human interfaces to mate with electronics, but reliable manufacturing they ain't leaders in.

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    I think Debbie Washburn said (and showed) it best... it'd be a solid wall of cabinetry unless you separated them, and then again it will still look like a pantry. Or a refrigerator. Which it is. As regards built-in flush mount vs integrated, it really depends on your priorities and what look you're going for. If you want to fully 'hide' the fact you have a refrigerator in your kitchen (and that's debatable): Integrated, French. Not side by side. Even an integrated column looks like a fridge/pantry. You still have larger handle(s) than your drawers and cabinets, so it will always be known you've got a fridge in your kitchen (which I don't see as an issue), but 'integrated' does a better job with it due to the fact that it will have a slightly smaller gap (when installed properly). If you want more room than integrated offers for the same width, and simply like a paneled look, built in flush mount is still attractive, IMO. FWIW, we are paying the (less, actually) money for a built-in flush mount, and would not consider the integrated in the same space due to the smaller cubic foot capacity. Let's all please keep in mind 'marketing'. In DrB477's photo above you've got an different style panel on the flush mount built in, with big wide tubular handles. On the integrated example is a sleek, contemporary cabinetry, with smaller, slender handles. What would happen if we evened out the comparison? An ever so slight wider gap is the primary visual difference, while the 2nd visual difference is you will see a small amount of hinge at the top on either side (not all across as shown in the image - I know this as I've seen flush mount built-in installs): Rita, no, if they are flush mount, installed correctly, the panels do not to stick out on built ins. You are perhaps thinking of built-ins not flush mount. ETA: on SZ built-ins. Many SZ built in models have hinges that work in this type of flush mount application. SZ started adding flush mount install instructions to those that may be. As homechef59 says, it's all a matter of personal preference - as well as one's needs. And so no one takes offense to my comment that the cabinetry in the built in is a 'different' style I'd like to state that is the type of cabinetry (similar) we are using. It fits our home and is our aesthetic preference.
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  • PRO
    8 years ago

    I can assure you that Sub-Zero has ZERO say in whether Fhiaba is sold in their dealer's showrooms. That's ignoring the fact, that Fhiaba is nearly zero threat to their brand for a variety of reasons. The issue with Fhiaba is marketing and distribution based. They don't market so there is no demand for dealers to carry and the distributors they have chosen aren't in a position to leverage them into key showrooms in their market place.

    They have been in the US now for several years and only signed on with dacor in the last 6 months because they are looking for volume and dacor needed an OEM for their refrigeration. Strictly a marriage of convenience and of zero impact on whether Fhiaba's sell or don't.

  • 8 years ago
    Here is my Fhiaba!
  • 8 years ago
    Fhiaba is a luxury Italian all stainless steel refrigerator unlike sub-zero which is plastic on the inside. I took a chance and so far so good. Extremely well built and quiet and a very good warranty that I hope I won't need for a long time. Soft close drawers with various temperature settings and lots more. They also look nicer. I ran into the brand by accident and so far so I am pleased. Usually when someone don't advertise, there product
  • 8 years ago

    Actually SZ did indeed let dealers know that if they wish to carry fhiaba in their showrooms, they would pull their product. We, as others chose to stick with tSZ as our customers recognize the brand. SZ has a lot of control in the high end market. We have one of their company showrooms near us, and we feel the pressure. Fhiaba makes a quality unit, but the support network isn't there. This is reflected by the huge discounts on the internet. We were approached to carry fhiaba, but again, the customer service support is shaky. There are manufacturers now who are competing closer to SZ in the high end market, but the difference is Miele, Bosch, therm etc, have excellent reputations, and support. So, there's not as much risk. Customers recognize the names more these days. . However, I will say we actually have 2 clients who got killer deals, and are happy with their fhiabas .. So far

  • PRO
    8 years ago

    What marketplace are you in? As someone who's job it was to make decisions on floor products, we were never approached in NY metro about Fhiaba AT ALL. Even when discussing directly it wasn't a concern for sub-zero.

    Same can be said for other NY metro dealers I am in contact with...no word from SZ of any kind on Fhiaba.

  • 8 years ago

    Joe, Atlanta. Our SZ regional rep sure did. And he said honestly, that SZ big wigs didn't want these guys to gain a foot hold in the states. I've even met with them in WI, concerning this and other issues. And, I personally like the Fhiaba ref myself, and would've carried them. It's Quality built for sure. I can see their work in the new Dacor line..My only point is that I would only advise someone to be weary of the availability of parts, and finding a qualified repairmen to be available down the road.. On the other hand, SZ still has replacement parts for models dating as far back as I've been around the business. And, they're a solid family ran American company, that'll be around for now on.

  • 8 years ago

    Carl, thats a nice pic of your new Fhiaba. I admire your roll of the dice. I've seen some killer deals on prices across the internet. We had a client, who had her previous 2 homes showcasing all SZ products. Thought she was about to pull the trigger a 3rd time; But, like you, she found a deal. She still ordered her cooking appliances from us, so I'm personally gonna make sure I'm there for the delivery and installation. She hasn't got it up n running yet, but I'll try to grab a pic n post it, when she does.. Congrats again..

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    As a consumer -- strictly -- I'd like to make a comment on the Thermador being the best value. I know that people who have them like them. Good word of mouth. But for $7K in my market it was really lacking in finish compared to Miele for $2K more.

    Also, again as a consumer, I know Miele service and warantys. I wasn't at all clear on what I'd get from Thermador and after hearing about problems with their induction cooktop service I just wasn't feeling confident.

    I was more confident paying the premium for the finishing, the sturdiness (I have a power outage issue where I live) and for the service if I need it.

    Learned the hard way that value can be relative when there is ongoing aggravation. Not trying to impugn Thermador service as I don't know anything about it. But having had my dealer -- which is the best dealer within 150 miles -- send 2 "experts" to adjust the fridge panel on my freezer, and having had them fail at that task, I wouldn't honestly be sanguine about having them work on the innards of a cousin to my fridge.

    Most buy for price point, know. But many of us will pay more (as I did) for reliability.

  • 8 years ago

    Rococogurl, I hear what you're saying, and agree. In my personal opinion Miele is probably the best in the business. I'm not comparing Thermador to Miele, as to me, there's no comparison. But, even though Miele makes 96% of their product in house, they don't actually make their own ref. They're made by the same company that makes thermador, Bosch, and gagg, with a few more bells, whistles, and upgrades. My only point was that since therm is cheaper, and they usually have discounts and incentives(Miele very seldom allows discounting), they would be a good bang for the buck.

  • 8 years ago

    Carl Spencer, how is your Fhiaba doing? We were in a very similar boat to you, and finally settled on a Fhiaba, which is on it's way to us. How're you liking it 5 months in?

  • 8 years ago

    I love it so far. Perfect Temperature control. And is it quiez. Love the all antimicrobal stainless steel interior. Beautiful. I hope I continue to have a good experience and that you as well.

  • 7 years ago

    Carl Spencer: Are all things still well with your Fhiaba? I am considering buying the 30" glass door model for a very rural property on the Mendocino coast of California. (Yes, everyone: I know I will regret the lack of service providers.) I love the way it looks, it seems to be solidly made, and it costs about $5,000 less than the SZ.

  • 7 years ago

    Yes actually! All things are well. They are solidly built for sure. And very quiet. Well if someone makes a good product, it would be rare that you call them. I only called them when I first bought it to ask them how to take it out of demo mode. Other than that no issues. I can't get over how nice it looks. And I got a 3 year full warranty and like 10 years on the sealed system or was it 5 I can't remember now. I think it was 10 though. Anyway, I hope I never use it. So far I am happy I took the chance. I think sub zero pales in comparison for what you get for your money. I hope this helps your decision.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Nice to see people (Carl) take the time to post positive feedback on a brand. Every brand started out as a new brand, an unknown at some point, and it takes pioneering consumers to take a leap of faith to try these unknowns. Sometimes the experience requires additional patience and the consumer takes a role in that in order for the brand to grow and strengthen which ultimately gives the brand the resources it needs to improve the customer experience. It takes time to grow a brand. In the case of Fhiaba, I think they are here to stay - in what capacity or at what level remains to be seen but as others have indicated - it's a well built product which uses lasting materials. They only produce about 18 pieces per day - so it really is an exclusive product. Like all new brands, there's a learning curve when it comes to product support and service as technicians get familiar with the products. Sometimes a service company's lack of familiarity with a brand is more of a testament to its reliability rather than a comment on its sales. Fhiaba's commercial roots / sensibilities actually contribute to the overall ease of serviceability of it's products. Almost all service can be done from the front of the unit without having to uninstall it which is a bonus when you're talking about integrated appliances. I fancy myself as one of those aforementioned product pioneers and accept the fact that things may not be as easy down the road if there are hiccups. I owned a DVD player before you could even rent a DVD. I bought an electric car back in 2011 knowing that the local dealers and shops wouldn't have a clue how to diagnose or repair the non-conventional aspects of the vehicle. I've recently bought a Fulgor Milano (picture above, also from Italy - ever heard of them?) dual fuel range and it is amazing. Fit and finish is second to none - the only other range I would put in the same class would be the Miele. The Fulgor Milano brand is owned and built by a company in Italy which makes over 600,000 cooking products a year. Just because you haven't heard of them, doesn't mean they don't know what they're doing. The big 3 automakers have been caught with their pants down more than once over the years because they didn't consider unknown brands a threat. Now we have Honda, Toyota and Nissan entrenched in our markets not to mentioned the plethora of European brands enjoying growing sales. Now we've got Tesla making a splash...from what I can see - consumers relish new brands...that's why so many new companies clamour at the opportunity to come to America. Not all of them succeed unfortunately.

  • 7 years ago

    Well, based upon Carl's and others' good experiences, and I guess my own sense of adventure (or death wish), I went ahead and ordered the 30" Fhiaba glass door bottom freezer model X Pro70 (the same model Carl had bought). I am excited about it. It's for a house in a very rural part of California, on the Mendocino coast, and so I am sure servicing it will be a breeze! The price for a NIB model, with full warranty, was $4800. Too big a savings for me to resist. (The comparable SZ is about $10k.) My wife says it was all my decision, so you know what that means if something goes wrong...

  • 7 years ago

    They certainly look attractive and are a promising addition to the range of available options.

  • 7 years ago

    Mongey how is the fhiaba? Just stumbled across one and was drawn in by its good looks and price!

  • 7 years ago

    Hi HeatherinOR. I have not yet installed it. We probably will do so by early to mid-January.

  • 7 years ago

    Can't wait to see it!

  • 7 years ago

    I'm wondering if anyone who has purchased a Fhiaba has installed with custom panels. The custom panels do not extend to the edge of the face, so I wonder how sturdy door opening and closing feels.

  • 7 years ago
    Not sure what that means. Custom panels don't extend to the edge if the face... There's a helpful series of videos on YouTube if you search "Fhiaba Installation".
  • 7 years ago

    Any updates on how folks are liking their units? I am thinking about these as alternatives to subzeros for a new home being planned...

  • 7 years ago

    We bought 3 fhiaba units last year and have been extremely pleased with them thus far. The stainless interior looks great and their temperature control is spot on.

  • 7 years ago

    Did something change about their distribution? Here in CA, the local store that used to carry them - airport appliance, doesn't have them on their website anymore.

    There were stories on this thread before about subzero trying to get stores not to carry fhiaba. Did people fold?

  • 7 years ago

    Fresno boy, yes. I mentioned this a yr ago, and some on this forum thought I was making it up. Sub Zero reps informed us that if we wish to carry fhiaba, they'd wish us well.. (Without them.).. When I sat down with our regional guy, he flat told us that they don't want the fhiaba products to be sold next to their's. And why? My guess is that they know this product offers "True dual compressors", and is built solid. I understand their repairs and servicing calls are low. And, That's a threat to SZ. Now, we've got 2 of our old time customers who bought fhiaba's on the Internet, liked them, and saved a nice chunk of $.. However, they also tell me that they do worry about long term complications, especially if they become scarce in the USA. They sell better in Canada, and Europe. The lack of a true network for parts and servicing, has been reflected by the crazy discounts on the net. Tempting enough prices to probably take a chance on one.

    From what I've examined, they make a top quality product; Stainless all over the place. I like their lighting, and shelving as well. Take a look at the new Dacor, it's made by fhiaba, and it's sharp. Tons of detail. I've heard they run quite too.

    The bottom line is, that SZ is the big elephant in the room, with the bsh group, (Miele, Gagg, Therm, and Bosch) on their heels. But folks recognize these names. Anyone who has owned a Miele DW, or vacuum knows their quality control is killer, and will buy the name.

    As for our store, we push the SZ brand. It's our bread n butter. And the latest advances from them is hard to beat. That being said, if you can get that fhiaba for the prices I've seen, I'd buy one..

  • 7 years ago

    I compared SZ to Fiaba and found Fiaba to bet a superior product for a better product in every way.

  • 7 years ago

    Our Fhiaba is being installed later this week. I will report back after that happens.

  • 7 years ago

    Carl, I don't doubt it. It's a great looking fridge too. I will say the bacterial scrubbers and filter setup on the new SZ is killer. I'm surprised SZ hasn't upgraded their interior lights. We've been on them about it, but they do things their way..

  • 7 years ago

    Where did everyone get their units from?

  • 7 years ago

    I got mine from AI Surplus; I think they sometimes list units on eBay. But I am not sure yet whether I would recommend AI. The price was good and they were perfectly nice during the purchase. But we just uncrated the refrigerator for the first time since its delivery to our house a few months ago -- we had left it crated to protect it during construction -- and discovered that the grate and door panel were dented. When I asked AI for replacements, they refused, saying we were too late. I have now gone to Fhiaba's distributor to seek help. We shall see what happens.

  • 7 years ago

    And there in lies another issue. How good is their dealer support. If I sell a SZ to anyone, I'm ther to build a long term relationship. So, if I sold you that unit, I would've already sent you replacements, with no hassle. That being said, the prices I'm seeing are scary low, compared to SZ or Miele, or whomever...

  • 7 years ago

    thebigfatdog, where are you seeing really low prices? There are a few on ebay that have good discounts, but there are only a few products. I have heard they do not constrain dealers to specific pricing the way SZ does it - are you referring to local dealers?

  • 7 years ago

    Fresno boy, no. I've seen some over/under 36" models in the $4500 range on ebay. Now, I'm not sure the conditions or who is selling.. But, it's advertised as new. We carry SZ, so I can tell you, that's far cheaper than what we can do on a SZ. . I've sold demos and outdated models, and they still aren't that cheap. In fact, After selling SZ and Wolf forever, and owning this store for nearly 30yrs, and pulling every string I could, SZ finally gave my wife and me a new model for our new home. So, if these fhiaba's are as good as Carl and others on here have stated; I'd pay 5k for one in a heartbeat. The few I've seen in person are impressive.

  • PRO
    7 years ago

    If you can get one on the cheap, they are a quality-built machine that to my eyes looks to last a long time. But I would steer clear from paying anywhere near full-price for one for now. Their biggest drawback is what thebigfatdog mentions, very little service and support here in the states. Also, their control panels are about near IMPOSSIBLE to use. At least the few that I've had my hands on. Even Dacor's control panel on the fhiaba-based built-ins are a total mess. The build quality looks very good though.

    Anthony

    Appliance Buyer's Guide

  • 7 years ago

    I don't know what model you've used but their pro line is awesome. Controls simple to me. Then again I read the manual and I am an engineer.

  • 7 years ago

    Had a call today from a lady asking if we serviced them. We don't. She says The freezer is ok, but the fridge part won't stay cool. Temp is in the 48-50 degree range. Her unit has been installed for about 1 yr. The unit is 2 yrs old. The dealer who carried them, no longer does. If anyone on here is a tech, any ideas? I'll pass them on. Thnx

  • 7 years ago

    Carl, no offense, but most people who buy high end fridges, aren't engineers. And, they don't want to feel like they have to be one, in order to set their controls. We deliver to our customer, install, and set the temps. Then, go over the features with the customer. Surprisingly, most folks just want it up and running, with no knowledge that it even needs to be plugged in. When paying $5k-$13k, they're not wasting time reading a manuel. They expect me to do that..

  • 6 years ago

    I purchased the 35" Fhiaba in February 2013 - was the 1st or second one to be brought in to the US.......this has been a great purchase. I only had an issue with the ice maker (yet, it's the same ice makers used in 99% of the high end units). I would highly recommend these refrigerators.

  • 6 years ago

    Are these even sold anymore in the US? The dealer in the SF Bay Area that used to carry them a couple years ago doesn't carry them anymore, and I can't find online dealers either...


    thx

    mike


  • 6 years ago

    If I'm not mistaken, I think Airport Appliance still carries Fhiaba.

  • 6 years ago
    it doesn't show up when searching on their website
  • 6 years ago


  • 6 years ago

    I know Fhiaba's website says airport appliance sells them, but there are no Fhiaba's listed on the AA website at all. I think they stopped selling them.

    Where can you actually find them anymore in the US?

    thx

    mike


  • 6 years ago
    I have it directly from the Fhiaba rep in that territory that Airport still has them. Fhiaba still has full distribution coverage across the U.S.
  • 6 years ago

    Well, it doesn't show up on their website, and when I called the one in redwood city, they said they no longer carry that line, but they do have a floor model on sale for 50% off.


    So doesn't sound like you can get them there anymore.


    thx

    mike




  • 6 years ago

    Anyone know of a Fhiaba dealer in the Atlanta area? Preferably the northern suburbs. Thank you.

  • 5 years ago

    Looks like good reviews here:

    https://www.appliancesconnection.com/fhiaba-fi30biro.html


    Here's their dealer locater/network list:

    http://www.thevettagroup.com/Dealer_Locator_Fhiaba.a5w

  • 5 years ago

    I got my 24" Fhiaba panel ready wine fridge/column with glass door on top and single multi option drawer (can set to freezer, refrigerator or higher temp) delivered a week ago. Couldn't get it to get cool and didn't hear the compressor start. I was able to work from home and their warranty/service provider Adco Service support center in Phoenix was able to walk me through the setup menu and get the compressors to switch on from the standby mode it was in. Everything is looking good. They are also sending me a new adjustable front leveling foot that got damaged in transit/delivery.


    I wanted to get the unit functional before doing a first impression writeup. My point of reference was a 30" 188-bottle capacity full size tri-zone/three compressor (!) Viking model in my last house. I'd been looking for something thinner for my new kitchen and this 24" model fit my spec needs. In terms of build quality, I'd say the Fhiaba is at least as well built as the Viking model I had. Though smaller in dimensions, it feels more solid than the Viking model. Maybe this is owing to the full steel interior. As the saying goes, it's a pretty impressive piece of kit.


    This model only has two compressors versus the three in the Viking. The difference doesn't matter too much to me as the Viking had an annoyingly loud 'click' every time one of the three compressors switched back on to keep temp. The Fhiaba is significantly quieter than the Viking.


    The keypad menu is not as responsive/sensitive as the one on the Viking, but this is not a deal breaker to me as I tend to set the temps in the three zones and Let It Be. The huge advantage of the Fhiaba feature-wise is the ability to turn the bottom drawer into a freezer. I don't have a dedicated high volume icemaker, so if I am planning to entertain, I can empty the icemaker in my regular freezer the night before into the Fhiaba drawer and between that and my freezer icemaker refilling that should give me a great option for ice on demand for cocktails for most good-sized parties.


    One annoyance is the way the pull out wood drawers are constructed. There is a wood brace running perpendicular in the middle of each drawer that has a slight rise. What that does is makes it a little difficult to slide in some bottles to fully maximize the drawer space. Not a deal breaker, but an annoyance.


    Overall, the Fhiaba looks like a solid buy and very pleased with it and the service I have received so far.