how to ship an Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Mika, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Mika

    Mika Member

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    What is the best way to ship an amp.... or what have been your best experiences. I have never shipped an amp..... I have done a few pedals but never an amp.
    Lets hear it?
    The big combo's to the small heads, to the massive cabs:peenut
     
  2. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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  3. Bikedude

    Bikedude Gold Supporting Member

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    Take it to UPS if you don't have a box, they'll have all you need. Price is determined by distance, weight, size, and insured value. I shipped a small combo, insured for 1K, 1 state away, for about 35 bux. I do have a personal acct. at my UPS store. FedEx does the same, and I think either will pack for you, for more $$ .
     
  4. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's a very good tutorial by Jim Seavall from Scumback Speakers on packing an amp or cab....

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=674063

    I've used an approach very similar to this for years and I've never had an amp damaged in shipping. I've used Fedex without any problems, but if you do a search you'll read lots of horror stories about damages and problems with insurance claims. UPS has similar issues. Your best defense against shipping issues is to pack your amp really well.

    FVB
     
  5. 72Telecaster

    72Telecaster Silver Supporting Member

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    Wow great resources...I'm curious if there are any brick/mortar stores that sell cardboard shipping boxes for small heads or combos or if FedEx/UPS is the best way to go.
     
  6. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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    I get my boxes from uline.com. You can also get them from U-Haul and moving companies. For smaller heads and combos try places like Staples and Office Depot.

    FVB
     
  7. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    Home depot stocks moving boxes. A double walled wardrobe box may be overkill for a head, but can work for a small to medium combo.
     
  8. MCK

    MCK Member

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  9. Fretts

    Fretts Member

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    The previous mention of Jim from Scumback Speakers' link is a failsafe system. Also, I have had good luck doing it this way:
    Amp is placed in a snug-fitting cardboard box - that usually means cut/trimmed to fit.
    Box is wrapped in big-bubble (like 1inch) bubble wrap, about 4" thick. This normally took three or four layers to achieve. All six sides are covered in 4 inches of bubble wrap with no gaps.
    The whole thing goes in another box, also cut to fit snug.
    Insured for full amount.
    I used to live around the corner from an independent shipping /PO Box place and these guys could whip up a custom box in about five minutes.
     
  10. fsmith

    fsmith Silver Supporting Member

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    I've shipped a couple of amps and if you can wait a week or so call the amp manufacturer and ask them to send you a shipping box plus all the inserts for your model. I paid a small fee for the box and shipping materials and whatever it cost to ship a basically empty box. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me...

    fred
     
  11. guitarpedaladdict

    guitarpedaladdict Supporting Member

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    I've shipped two where I had UPS pack them and ship them - no problems and one buyer actually said, "the guy who packed this should win an award." The cool part about having UPS pack it, is that if anything happens to it, it's not coming out of your pocket.
     
  12. MT Buckaroo

    MT Buckaroo Silver Supporting Member

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    Caveat - The kid at the UPS and Fed Ex places that will pack your amp may have no idea what can be damaged inside an amp and how to do it properly. Once received a 1x12 combo amp (where the chassis with top-mount controls was affixed to the back panel with the tubes mounted horizontally and out of sight) with those styrofoam wedges all jammed up in the cab. Good intentions, but one preamp tube was broken off in the socket (a JJ, no biggie), and I was lucky that the cone of the very expensive ASW alnico speaker was not damaged, as the styrofoam wedges were almost sticking into the ports in the speaker basket.

    Lots of focus here on the type of box (sturdy) and type of padding to be used (couple of layers of large bubblewrap at a minimum), but also be aware of the finer points of pulling and bubble-wrapping large tubes and securing them in a safe place in the cab or shipping box somehow, and of separately wrapping and securing things like power cords and footswitches so that they don't cause damage to the amp. Putting some cardboard around the back of a speaker to protect the cone is also a good idea. A layer of thick cardboard secured over the grill cloth doesn't hurt either.

    12AX7 size preamp tubes that have spring loaded aluminum shields usually travel pretty well under those shields, but larger power and rectifier tubes are at risk in their sockets. Even EL84s can be damaged. I once got an amp where the EL84s under spring retainers were all bent at a 45 degree angle to the tube socket and broken at the bases when the amp must have taken a hard jolt on its side.

    Finally, for a heavy and awkwardly sized combo amp, consider cutting little handhold slots in the sides to make it easier on the delivery guys, and to keep the box oriented right side up throughout its journey.
     
  13. direwolf

    direwolf Supporting Member

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    Just get a slightly over sized box. Fill a plastic shopping bag with foam peanuts, put that in a plastic shopping bag, put that in a plastic shopping bag. Do that 8 times and put each bag into the 8 corners of the box.

    If you have alot of peanuts, just fill a large garbage bag and place on the bottom of the box. Then put another over the top.

    Pack tubes separately.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  14. dank

    dank Consummate Beatles Fan Supporting Member

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    I pack guitars and effects myself. FOR amps, I always use UPS as others have said. I remove and bubble wrap the tubes myself. They then pack the amp for $25.00. It is simply money well spent. I have yet to encounter a problem.
     
  15. RSRD

    RSRD Member

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    Forget the box. Just slap a shipping tag on the bastard!
     
  16. scriptphase

    scriptphase Member

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  17. MasterEvan07

    MasterEvan07 Supporting Member

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    Ok, where do you get that sweet heavy duty foam or whatever it is?
     
  18. 72Telecaster

    72Telecaster Silver Supporting Member

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    I just picked up some similar foam/sheets at Home Depot. They came in ~4' x 16" sheets...packed in packs of 6.
     
  19. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    I think I am done buying gear from anyone other than the manufacturer. The last three things I have bought have arrived damaged. There is always lots of finger pointing with the sellers blaming the shipping company and vice versa, but in the end no one takes responsibility and I get stuck with torn up gear. I just got another one today and I am sitting here feeling pretty bummed about it. Sadly, everyone thinks they know what they are doing, but very few really do.
     

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