shipping amps in this new world market economy

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Dave Steves, May 8, 2003.

  1. Dave Steves

    Dave Steves Member

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    Well, this is not really related to technical info, but it is something I want to know about. I have shipped exactly one amplifier, a Rivera M60. It was quite a project. I cut out pieces of plywood for the bottom and top of the box, because I was afraid the amp would fall through the bottom/top of the box from its shear weight. How do you remedy this problem without having the amp custom packed by the local "how much do you wanna pay for the box" shipping professionals? Should you leave the tubes in or take them out, and package them seperately? If anyone has any suggestions please respond, I have a fender super reverb (4x10) that I want to sell and the shipping should be more than challenging.
     
  2. Josh

    Josh Guest

    I build my own boxes for my custom amps. Its too dificult to find correct sizes unless you live next to a ULINE shipping supply company. I buy sheets of 4x8' doublewall cardboard.
    As you may have guessed, shipping outlets are scams...they will not even pack to UPS/fedex standards often (I have stories, belive me).
    I would suggest that you go to local shops that carry Fender and ask if they have any packaging for a super reverb reissue. If they do, consider yourself very lucky....You will then have packaging/box that fits your amp exactly....for FREE. It will meet all of UPS's shipping guidelines to a tee; Fender has done all of this work for you. If it gets damaged, you will have an udisputeable claim. (be sure to insure for over $1000, because UPS/FedEx flags these packages and takes better care of them)
    If you cant get a SR box, this is how I package my stuff:

    1. Wrap the amp in plastic sheeting(keeps styrofoam and peanuts out of the amp)

    2. Case the amp in solid styrofoam sheets(you can get several 2x4' sheets at lowe's or home depot for $4)

    3. Slide the amp into box #1 (it should be a snug fit)

    4. build/buy box #2 with at least 3" larger on all sides (6" total over box #1's dementions)

    5. fill box #2 with 3" of styro peanuts, sit box #1 into it, and fill the rest of the way up w/peanuts, making sure to maintain the 3" clearance on all sides of box #1.

    be sure to seal all the boxes with good heavy duty tape, not 'label protection' tape.

    You can reinforce the bottoms if you want, but make sure to have 'this side up' labels on the outer box

    As for the tubes, I like to take them out, bubble wrap them, put them in their own box, and secure them to the inside bottom of the amp.

    I know this probabaly sounds like overkill to you, but this is the only method I have used that has had zero problems with over 50 ships...

    good luck,
    Josh
     
  3. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    I agree with Josh and pack amps & guitars in a very similar manner. Fender amp boxes have heavy duty foam corner blocks that suspend the amp on all 6 sides of the box, which is a good starting point....and I beef it up from there. From my experience, if your package will survive a 10 foot drop on to a concrete floor, it will probably survive shipment.....but even that's no guarantee if an employee has a grudge against the shipping company he works for. At the very least, if there is damage, they can't use their typical "insufficient packing" line when you file a damage claim.....but they will probably still try that line on you to see if you'll just go away without a fight.
     
  4. Josh

    Josh Guest

    If you ever have a damage claim they will give you the 'insufecient packaging' line. This is meaningless, and you should ignore this...I think it is mandatory that they tell this to you like 3 times, regardless of your packaging. Vaughn is correct, this is all an attempt to get you to 'go away'. you just need to persist, theaten legal action,.ect... you CAN win a claim....I have.

    Josh
     
  5. Dave Steves

    Dave Steves Member

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    I just wanted to thank Josh and VaughnC for their expertise. Thank you gentlemen, very very helpful. I love this forum, it is patronized pound for pound, by more knowledgable and gear conscious individuals than any other site I've been to, musically speaking.
     
  6. flume

    flume Gold Supporting Member

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    may I just add a piping hot cup of testimony to Josh's packing expertise? I have taken delivery of his amp shipping not once but twice--with 100% flawless performance. The amp arrived both times in perfect condition and the interior box was a serious statement unto itself. I have first hand experience with amp trauma due to utterly careless packing. Josh's recipe is the way to go. Nothing but the best for my Thermosonic!
     
  7. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    To the good hints already given I would add: Ship the amp with the chassis end/side down, so that the heaviest point is at the bottom and will reduce gravitational loads if it is dropped (assuming it's dropped while oriented as you load it, not "upside down").

    Shipping amps is a crap shoot, good luck.

    Jon
     

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