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stewblack

Packing an SVT

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Any advice, looks like this might be getting shipped across Europe. Anyone packaged a super heavy box filled with delicate breakable bits before?

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't ship an all-tube amp any more, and recently bought a £190 return ticket and spent 16 hours on trains to collect an SVT because of this. I've had too many dropped packages over the years. At the weight of an SVT, a drop is catastrophic, and as I found out, couriers will not cover damage to glass even if the damage is categorically their fault, and it's an expensive re-tube. 

Edited by Beedster
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I would never try and ship a valve jobby - no one will cover the damage risk properly -

if mine go any where, I drive them; last time was to Matamp, 287 miles each way

😎

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Keep it Stew, it's one of the best bass amps on the planet. Find a bass to sell if you need the cash, as I'm starting to realise, real bass tone versatility comes not from the range of basses, but from the range of amps in your collection :)

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2 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Keep it Stew, it's one of the best bass amps on the planet. Find a bass to sell if you need the cash, as I'm starting to realise, real bass tone versatility comes not from the range of basses, but from the range of amps in your collection :)

Mate I'd love to. I nearly broke myself last time I took it out. I'm not in the best of health which may be clouding my judgement but now I look at it and just take something lighter instead. I want to try a Handbox all valve. @wateroftyne seems to think they're not too bad.

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Anyone taking their holiday in Croatia this year? Anyone with a massive suitcase and nothing in it?

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Just now, stewblack said:

Anyone taking their holiday in Croatia this year? Anyone with a massive suitcase and nothing in it?

I think that'll only work if they're flying in a Hercules......

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I will ship just about anything but I think a (very) heavy valve head isn't a good candidate for shipping abroad.

Lots of heavy lumps of metal which can pull away from their mountings and obliterate everything else.... 😟

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3 minutes ago, Piers_Williamson said:

How much does an SVT weigh (out of academic interest)

Around 80lbs ~ 36kg

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8 minutes ago, stewblack said:

Mate I'd love to. I nearly broke myself last time I took it out. I'm not in the best of health which may be clouding my judgement but now I look at it and just take something lighter instead. I want to try a Handbox all valve. @wateroftyne seems to think they're not too bad.

Look for a local sale or a trade mate, two months ago I would have traded you a relatively lightweight Mesa Walkabout head for it. And trust me, if an international courier delivery goes bad, it tends to go really bad :(

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3 minutes ago, Pentode said:

I will ship just about anything but I think a (very) heavy valve head isn't a good candidate for shipping abroad.

Lots of heavy lumps of metal which can pull away from their mountings and obliterate everything else.... 😟

Yep, I had a Mesa BB750 delivered by UPS. They had clearly dropped it, and despite the fact it was in a head case and decent packaging, they managed to not only shatter all the tubes, but break the bolts holding the transformer and thereby cause a load of internal damage. Cost me £200 to put right. And that's a small cost to what it might cost with a heavy amp

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2 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Look for a local sale or a trade mate, two months ago I would have traded you a relatively lightweight Mesa Walkabout head for it. And trust me, if an international courier delivery goes bad, it tends to go really bad :(

Yup, international courier muck-ups can really spoil your day....

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Even if you remove all the valves and pack them separately, a drop to a valve amp can still buckle the chassis or cause the transformers to rip free from their mounting points.

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1 hour ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

I have done it with no issues. I sent a Trace Elliot V8.

The buyer bought and sent me a custom flight case and I added the rest as per the pictures. It wasn’t cheap to send, but it found its way to mainland Europe without issue.

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Good shout

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What would worry me, is who’d be responsible if it got damaged? 

How much is it to ship, fully insured?

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28 minutes ago, ambient said:

What would worry me, is who’d be responsible if it got damaged? 

How much is it to ship, fully insured?

don't know about the insurance but 50 euros just as it is. With a flight case - who knows? 

Even in a flight case its a hell of a risk. 

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Ah well. Had to disappoint my buyer, which I hate to do especially here on basschat. But I was already unhappy with the idea and the above comments convinced me that it would be a bad idea. 

I know one of you got lucky but I can't afford to take the risk. 

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1 minute ago, BreadBin said:

There's still hope for me then!

Why, you interested in the svt? 

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I think you did the best thing. Something as heavy as that is a two man lift, would guys working in the courier depot wait for someone to give them a hand, or simply roll it over, and over?

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Maybe send by specialist pallet courier instead of normal courier?

Itd be strapped and protected and attached to pallet. Nothing would go on top of it (youd hope) and courier would be used to heavy pallets.

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13 minutes ago, la bam said:

Maybe send by specialist pallet courier instead of normal courier?

Itd be strapped and protected and attached to pallet. Nothing would go on top of it (youd hope) and courier would be used to heavy pallets.

Hope? Hope is wasted on couriers. I'm currently waiting on the delivery of an amp that has been in transit for 8 days, the delivery of which has been rescheduled several times, which delays the seller has just informed me was the result of the item 'needing to be repackaged at the depot'. This is courier speak for 'we dropped it, it's bloody obvious that we dropped it, we know that you won't sign for it because it's that obvious, so we're going to wrap it in 5 rolls of duct tape and hope we get away with it'.

The irony is that the same courier did the same thing to me two years ago with an almost identical amp, it cost me £200 to fix, and the courier got out of it by saying that the original packaging was insufficient (something I couldn't disprove because it was no longer even there and which the seller couldn't prove because he hadn't taken any photos). The point is that with couriers, no amount of 'I did this when I sent my SVT and it was fine' or 'this should be OK' matters when things go wrong, and in my experience, the pressure that couriers are now under means that things go wrong far more frequently, as the result of which they have very well rehearsed processes and very fine small print to ensure they don't lose loads of money. And the customer loses out. This if OK if you can afford the loss, which many business can as they are either insured or build it into their risk, but when you're hard up for cash, and you're sending an expensive but heavy and easily dropped/damaged item that no courier is going to cover because it has glass components (and which even an expensive flight case will probably not protect against being dropped out of a lorry which was what had clearly happened to mine; flight cases, despite being designed to protect amps, were done so in the context that most people moving them had a vested interest in the amp getting to where it needed to go in one piece - cue numerous clumsy roadie stories), it's best to hold out for a local sale.

When it goes wrong, someone somewhere within the courier company admin layers will be tasked with making sure that, in your case, they do not pay out. They spend their whole working day doing this, week in, week out. The stress and anger of dealing with this person, who will say "I'm sorry, despite the fact we dropped it/lost it/sent it to the wrong address, we do not owe you anything because we are covered by page 47 line 68 of our T&Cs" is not worth it, I've been there. 

Do I sound angry?

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