Originally Posted by Jerrold Tiers
We had a heck of a time with producing packaging for them (and other items generally like them).
We finally used pre-molded pieces of that pour-in-place packing foam. We had a station that shot it into molds for each product, with the two liquid components of the polyurethane coming from skid-sized totes (we had a lot of them to make).
So, if you ship (and I am guessing that the last pics were of units packed poorly by ebay sellers for shipment), you might consider the version of that material which you can form yourself... all the material is in a bag which it foams up inside of.
I don't mean to hijack this thread into a ran on how to pack something for shipping, but it's not like packing this stuff is all that hard. Whenever I've had to ship something I take whatever steps are necessary to properly protect an item in transit. Being responsible when you pack takes time, effort and materials. It's unfortunate that amps like these get damaged because someone takes a short cut, trying to save either time, effort or materials. Saving on time, effort and materials amounts to false economy, and that leads to broken gear.
The first 2 Pro (the one with the really bad bashed-in handles was shipped by Guitar Center. They used a nice stiff double-layer corrugated cardboard box, but it was only a single box, they didn't double box. Even a 2-layer laminated cardboard box won't be sturdy enough to contain a 75 lb item that isn't properly immobilized.
To immobilize the 2 Pro, they did a really half-baked job. They just put 2 bags of expanding polyurethane foam in the bottom of the box, put the amp on top, and put 2 more bags on the top. There wasn't enough mass in the bags to fully immobilize the amp, so the amp was free to wiggle around in the box. It looked like it got dropped off of a conveyor, landing on handles. The box was also rounded-off so it wasn't even square. It had to be dropped at least once.
Actually, I know it was dropped at least once -- I was waiting for the UPS driver with my front door open, and I heard the amp slam onto my concrete front porch stoop. A short conversation followed: Bob: "Hey, you dropped it."
UPS Driver: "No I didn't."
Bob: "I had the door open, I was sitting on the kitchen, and I heard the box slam on the concrete with a loud thud."
UPS Driver: "But it weights 70 pounds."
Bob: "So now you're admitting that you dropped it?"
UPS Driver: "Sign here."
Bob writes the words: Dropped/Damaged in the signature line.
Of course, UPS decided not to honor a claim due to inadquate packaging, but GC took care of me. Good for them.
The 2nd amp did indeed come from an eBay seller. It arrived in an incredibly sturdy box, and was wrapped in a mile of bubble-wrap. Even that wasn't enough to protect the handles when the amp's full weight came to bear on them. The good news is that only the handles got damaged, the rest of the amp did just fine.
When I pack things that are bulky and heavy like this, I always double box. And I cut up a 4x8 sheet of 1" foam insulation (Home Depot) to provide at least 4 layers of foam around the amp to fully immobilize it in the box. Then I double-box in a large sturdy box from U-Haul that I cut down to size for the application. Packing things properly, I've had boxes punctured, tumbled, etc. with nothing ever damaged inside. All it takes is time, effort and materials. Unfortunately, many people are just too lazy to take the time to package something well, and too cheap to spend $25 on packing materials.
You want at least 3" in front of the panel, and it has to form down along the panel edge so that there is material between the panel and the box. Keep it out from under handles, and away from knobs, you want no force applied to knobs. |
Double-boxing helps (we didn't do that). Put the unit in a box with the foam-up packing, then put that in a second box, with 8 corner pads between the boxes.
Those are really good ideas. For items that have knobs protruding on the faceplates, I first wrap the item in a garbage bag for scratch prevention. Then I take a sheet of styrofoam and cut out recesses for all of the knobs, sliders, and handles on the faceplate. That way the foam goes up against the faceplate/chassis and not the controls. Cutting recesses into the first one or two layers of foam prevents the knobs, sliders, handles, etc. from ever being impacted or bearing weight when the amp gets dropped. Instead, the foam distributes the load across the amp chassis, so front panel parts don't get busted.
I suppose you could accomplish the same thing with really solid corner bracing, but I like to use extra layers of foam to prevent puncture type injuries. Sometimes I even use a piece of scrap 1/4" plywood between the foam layers to protect the front panel.
Back in the old days, people used to build wooden crates to protect valuable heavy items.