Flying with a Cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ThundarStruck, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. ThundarStruck


    Mar 7, 2018
    Dear friends,

    Had anyone ever packed up a bass cab an checked it in their luggage? Not the thing I'd normally do but....

    I am on a sabbatical year in Mexico City (I usually live in Los Angeles). I didn't bring much gear, because I hate carrying stuff and also enjoy looking for gear.

    I found a guy around here who will custom make me a Dietz style 15" cab (stained/no tolex, a bit high on the sides so my vintage v-4B will fit when it's sideways). Unloaded it's a steal and loaded, even though speakers are a bit pricier here, it's still a great deal, but really the kind of thing I'd want to bring back with me to the states. Flying with it (heavy bubble wrap and in a box) is probably the best and cheapest way to get it home in a year (I suppose I'd just have to pay the overweight charge, which I think is $50 or $75, but has anyone ever done this? If so, what do you think?

  2. Bubblewrap bursts on impact.

    I witnessed a baggage handler throwing baggage when in full view of the restaurant. He did it for kicks. The conveyor was the same height as the trolley but he lifted each bag up almost to chest height along the way.

    Magnets can break off, or shift, equally wrecking your speaker.
    InhumanResource likes this.
  3. Wouldn’t international mail be cheaper than the checked luggage fees you mentioned?
    MCF and Frank77 like this.
  4. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    long Way to go for a custom cab.

    Might consider driving it back, couple days drive by Google maps estimate.
  5. ThundarStruck


    Mar 7, 2018
    Always wanted to do it, but I don't have a car, and the drive is through some areas of conflict.
  6. ThundarStruck


    Mar 7, 2018
    Good point, I suppose I'd want to remove the speaker first. I suspect that this might actually eliminate the fees because without the speaker it might weight under 50 pounds.
  7. ThundarStruck


    Mar 7, 2018
    Should also clarify, I did not come here for a custom cab. I am here and a custom cab will not cost much more than a decent second hand cab. But if I have a cab made, I will likely want to keep it.
  8. I'd use a courrier or the local mail service if it has a good reputation. Airport luggage handlers are the last people I'd trust with anything of value - heard enough "United breaks guitars" type horror stories...and I've never had anything get lost or damaged with courriers or mail.
    Al Kraft likes this.
  9. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    I think it’s smart to think it through. Likely the cab will be solid and probably heavier than a production model. The trend is to lighter gear.

    Agree that driving through Zacatecas is not the easiest thing to do but I know people that regularly do. Perhaps you can find someone to run it up to you in LA.

    I was attached to Ampeg 4 ohm gear for decades. Then I bought a Little Mark 2 head and within 3-4 months all the big heavy cabs were gone replaced by Neo ported cabs. To my ears, there is some tone loss using lighter gear but the ease of transport makes up for it. Yes, still can’t beat a 810 for pushing air but I love the single load in and out.
  10. ThundarStruck


    Mar 7, 2018
    Thanks! I totally agree (especially now that I'm 40), but I don't gig that much, and I play in stoner/noise kind of bands, where light gear is not culturally appropriate. Also I just like old gear. The 15" cab is (according to me) a load-in compromise (I'd been using an Orange 410 which weighs way too much for a 410, occasionally a 412). I looked at shipping estimates and they range from $100 to over $300--might not really be worth the nuisance and the expense so I'll probably just buy the cheapest decent thing I don't mind abandoning if I can't resell it, pair it with a 70s Mexican Sunn head (which are really cheap). That one I'll try to pack well in a suitcase and bring home.
  11. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Why not pack the speaker in your carry on? This way it would be safe.
  12. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    I think this is something people don't consider enough. You can package up the cabinet itself, but that big magnet is still held in place by just the rest of the speaker. It has a lot of mass, which means a drop or a toss puts Newton in charge of his much damage your speaker gets. No thanks.
    StyleOverShow likes this.
  13. I'd never do it. I'd buy second hand and sell for approximately the same price before leaving. Calculate the shipping back too and the risk. The bass with a good flight case might be something different if it's a very good one. If not, I'd do the same than with the amp.
  14. ThundarStruck


    Mar 7, 2018
    I agree--I think I'm convinced that this is more trouble than it's worth. I'll just buy something super cheap and if I'm still gassing for a nice stained 115, I'll buy a Tyrant or something when I'm back in the state, which probably wouldn't cost much more than I'd end up making and transporting this cab.
    InhumanResource likes this.
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