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Ship an amp in a rack?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by StuartV, Dec 20, 2011.


  1. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    I posted this yesterday in the sticky in the For Sale section and got no response. Maybe somebody here can help?

    Question for you all: I have an SVT 2 Pro (4U head), a 1U tuner, and a 1U power conditioner all mounted in a RoadReady 6U rack case.

    Is there any feasible way to ship that as it is? Or do I really need to take the amp out and ship it separately, ship the tuner and power conditioner separately, and (maybe) just buy a new rack?

    (I moved from FL to CA over the summer and had to leave some things (like my SVT) in storage. Now I really want my SVT out here with me)

    I have not weighed it, but I'd guess it's in the 80 - 100 pound range.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Is it a shock rack? Otherwise I am leaning towards no.
     
  3. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Nope. Regular RR (plywood) rack.
     
  4. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I wouldn't do it. If you do, make sure it is insured.
     
  5. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    You could ship it as one package but a couple things I'd do first.

    Pull all the tubes, bubble wrap then individually, then all together and put them inside the amp chassis, in a separate box within the box, or mail them in a separate package all together.

    Make sure all the components are fastened to the back of the rack as well as the front. You don't want chassis warping/breaking if this thing gets dropped. If the gear doesn't have mounts for rear rack rails, stuff every little nook and cranny of empty space inside the rack with styrofoam so the gear can't move or flex.

    Then put the whole rack inside a bit larger box so there's enough space to surround it with a couple inches of packing foam/styrofoam.

    Insure it for at least the new replacement value of everything, maybe a little more.

    Take that amount of good packing and add to it whatever the shippers recommendations for packing are so you can get a damage claim should you need to. They'll try and weasel out of paying you if you don't follow their instructions.

    My first packing explanation is so the gear gets there in one piece. Take that box and pack it according to the shippers instructions so you can get paid should anything happen.
     
  6. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Don't touring bands ship stuff around the country all the time just in the rack cases like this? That's what I was hoping I could do.
     
  7. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx

    Yes, but they also depend on that equipment to make their living. They know what it is and how to take care of it. To some delivery guy, yours is just another box. Being rather large and heavy, it's more likely to get slid, rolled, dropped, etc. Light ones are easy to throw around. You have to assume it's being handled by careless idiots from the time it leaves your hands until it's in the hands of the recipient.
     
  8. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    ?? If a touring band ships stuff like this, how do they do it? Can I ship mine the same way?

    (I didn't say they carry their stuff around with them - I would have no problem carrying my amp rack from FL to CA myself, if I were doing that drive again)
     
  9. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    They either haul it by truck they load/unload themselves and it gets driven straight from one town to the next or they rent backline at the various tour stops.

    They don't UPS the gear around getting routed through various freight terminals, picking up 100 other packages along the way, making stops in towns the gear isn't going to etc.

    Some acts will have 2 or 3 sets of gear leapfrogging around the country. When they leave fridays show, saturdays show is already being setup with identical gear. The gear they played friday will go somewhere else for tuesdays show, etc.
     
  10. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    They have roadies that get paid by them to make sure it gets there in one piece. This equipment is usually put in a trailer that is pulled by the bus, or in a semi that is also contracted by the band.

    Touring bands are not shipping their equipment via UPS to each venue.
     
  11. Tevatron

    Tevatron

    May 14, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    Back in the 1980s, the sound company I worked for bought a used, 36 channel mixer, from the manufactruer. It was a demo. They shipped it in only the Anvil road case that it comes in. They assured us that they did that all the time.... Well, at one of the freight depots along the way. it rolled off of the loading dock on it's casters. When we received it, it was a marrocca. We refused delivery. The manufacturer sent us a new one, boxed, on a pallet, with handling labels all over it. After that, I would NEVER send any equipment in just a road case.
     
  12. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Okay, maybe I should express my question in a different way.

    I have some friends that have a band based in VA. A while back, they did a West Coast tour. Their agent arranged to ship out their equipment (not including backline stuff they would be renting or have supplied). This included stuff some of the drummer's stuff and some amps. Then the band flew out and (I think) rented a van to carry them and their stuff to the gigs out there.

    When I get a chance, I'll ask one of them if they know how their agent did that/who he used. In the meantime, does anybody here have a suggestion on how a band (like that one) could feasibly ship heavy rack gear across the country? I know that really big bands have big tractor trailers and tour buses to carry their gear, but I doubt the band I know is the only band that does things the way they did on that tour.
     
  13. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    It's possible to use a freight carrier, a small time company that has more at stake than a giant like UPS/FedEx. It is also possible that they used UPS or FedEx and were very lucky.

    Your gear isn't unshippable, it's just better advised not to ship it in the rack if it's only secured at the front. That's an 80lb rack head being held in place by 4 tiny screws and a relatively thin piece of metal. It's being handled by people that do not care what it is, or how valuable it is to you. If it is large and heavy, it more than likely will be dropped at some point on it's journey, giving it a much greater chance of being broken.

    Here's what I would do: Remove the SVT-II Pro from the rack. Remove the tubes from the head. Pack the head in a box and ship it separately. You can pack the tubes in as well, or ship them separately...it's up to you. If you can find a big enough box, put the tuner and power conditioner in the box as well. Make sure everything is packed very well.

    Then ship the rack in a separate box, or sell it and buy another closer to home.
     
  14. My SVT-II got delivered in a rack, wrapped in bubblewrap (handles sticking out). Tubes still in place.

    Maybe I got lucky . . .
     
  15. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    I work for a vendor who sells tech gear that has to be tested for in-rack shipment. Given what goes into industry standard ship testing I'd say you probably don't want to ship in a rack that's not shock resistant. The tests are worst case, but they were developed for a reason.
     
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    If they shipped some gear, that's one thing--but you specifically asked about shipping a heavy amp in a rack case. If they did that, and their gear was not harmed in the process, then they were extremely lucky.

    I see rack gear with bent "ears" on Ebay all the time, and what that immediately tells me is the gear was in a rack that got dropped or thrown. Because the weight of the back end of the amp acts as a lever against the fulcrum of the ears bolted to the rails. And while most of the time the gear will still work afterward, odds are very high of stress fractures in the circuitboard, and among the solder joints, that will fail later on.

    If you insist on doing this, one thing you can do to reduce the chance of damage is to stuff the back area of the rack--all around the amp, tightly and fully--with the clothes that you plan to wear on the tour. They will keep the amp from levering around inside the rack.
     
  17. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    Virginia
    This is a company that specializes in shipping musical gear:
    Rock-It Cargo :: Rock-It Cargo Home Page
    I've used them with clients many times internationally, they are great but it's expensive. Like, no joke expensive- but you don't have to worry about your gear.
     
  18. jsbarber

    jsbarber

    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    I have several pieces of gear that I have rack mounted. I go to a local place called Left Coast Cases. For amps they build a shroud rack which the electronics is housed in and then a matching road case. The road case splits into two pieces, has aluminum edges and corners, and is lined with a couple of inches of foam on all sides. This is what professional traveling bands use. I also have had road cases for a bass and a cabinet made. Because of the construction, (rivetted together), if the case gets damaged in transit the damaged parts can be replaced.

    What you have sounds like the equivalent to my shroud rack. Definitely not fit for shipment, unless you pack it very carefully inside of other packaging.

    Jim

     

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