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Shipping bass cabinets

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by whitespikebass, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. whitespikebass

    whitespikebass Boy Orbision

    Feb 19, 2013
    Austin, TX
    Thinking about selling a 4x12 cab of mine. Who do you use to ship a monster like this safely/cost effectively?
  2. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Where do you live? nothing in your profile ... Craigslist or something like that available to you? ... save a lot of hassle and $$
  3. whitespikebass

    whitespikebass Boy Orbision

    Feb 19, 2013
    Austin, TX
    I live in Mississippi and the CL is horrible pretty much. I could try it I suppose.
  4. Clammy


    Nov 3, 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Neal Moser Guitars, DR Strings
    I shipped a couple of Marshall 4x12 cabs from L.A. to upstate New York for about $85 or $90 each a few years ago, using ups. No matter which company you decide to use, the key is to pack it like it will be going through a warzone.

  5. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal
    This is exactly right!

    You can purchase "wardrobe" boxes (skip the hanger bar) at your local U-haul-it to pack up your cabinet in.

    If it were me, I'd double box it, and insure it. The cab is already made to withstand the rigors of touring. It only needs the "tolex" to be protected. I have shipped a many large cabs this way with no troubles.

    You can check with various shippers for their size limits. If your cab is too large (after packing), you can ship "frieght." There should be a few freight haulers nearby (check phone book).

    Last resort is to ship by bus (such as Grey Hound), although I have not tried that method personally and cannot "vouch" or verify its effectiveness.
  6. Gaolee

    Gaolee Outta my way! I'm caffeinated! Supporting Member

    You need to protect more than the tolex. I shipped a combo amp across country via UPS in a wood crate with reinforced corners and some foam padding at the corners. I figured the amp itself was solid state and the speaker cone was designed to move a bit, so no problem. Wrong. Apparently, UPS uses some kind of conveyor with curves in the conveyor and larger shipments have a bad habit of falling off of those when the conveyor turns a corner. The crate apparently fell three or four feet. The impact was sufficient to damage the speaker sufficiently that the speaker coil doesn't move. The impact must have ripped the cone. And, a printed circuit board within the amp was knocked loose from its socket. This isn't a delicate amp, either. It is an old Acoustic Control combo that will still work sometime after Armageddon. Apparently, UPS is worse than Armageddon. So, there you have it. UPS can and will damage just about anything. Now we (the recipient and me) are in a fight with UPS over whether the insurance I bought and paid for prior to shipping is going to cover the necessary repairs.

    For what its worth, I played several shows through the combo amp in question prior to shipping it, so I knew the condition it was in before shipping. The speaker was working, the amp was working, and it sounded great. Post-UPS, not so much.

    Moral of this story - shippers really and truly don't care if they destroy things. Packing it for a war zone is probably going to be enough, but better to pack it for a war zone and an air drop.
  7. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    About 3 months ago, I shipped 2 410 Ashdowns ABM cabs. Ohio to Calif and Washington state. These cabs weigh in at about 85lbs each.
    Both shipped UPS Ground. They were packed in a box within a box. The inner box I cut to fit the cab tightly. The space between boxes was roughly 1.5" for packing material. Look for a local box seller in your area otherwise you're into used. New these boxes cost me less than $3 each. The box co I use will sell them one at a time - which I think is unusual.
    I used high strength fiber glass thread tape.
    I decided to use flat pieces of cardboard to fill the gap between the two boxes given the weight of the cabs. All packed the total weight came in at 125lbs and cost about a $1 a pound with insurance. USPS and FedEx were cost prohibitive. I took the cabs to the local UPS store and they gave me a 10% discount for a corporate account. I recommend you get signature verification for receipt.
    Both cabs arrived at their destinations undamaged.
    TBH - I will never do this again.
  8. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    FWIW, I've given up on shipping cabs. Never had one damaged (read a few horror stories, though...), but it cost an arm and a leg the last time I did it.

    These days I put 'em on consignment at my local music store. I see it as a win/win: they make some commission and I avoid the hassle. The tradeoff is that I prolly could get a few bucks more for 'em if I sold on TB.
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    What's your closest metro area / large city? People will drive some distances provided the item is desirable and the price is right.

  10. I took a risk and ordered a bass cabinet (2x12) from CA. It came through UPS and luckily arrived perfectly fine; however, that thing was Buried in packaging. There was something called (sealed air instant pack)? that was basically this bag/pack that expanded into a hard foam substance around its placement. That was around all the corners, as well as air bags everywhere else and some bits of foam. The box didn't have much damage, only looked like a little roughing to 1 corner, but I have heard horror stories.

    In essence, most shippers are going to have the same likelihood of wrecking your stuff, so again, pack it like it's going through a war zone ;) I've always used UPS, so far no problems. It's hard to be cost effective when shipping a 4x12
  11. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I have had great luck buying and selling on CL. Never had a problem.

    I use these simple guidelines:

    If am selling, I am honest in my description and make it as complete as possible without making it too long. I make sure to include the price and pictures. I always ask a little more than I am willing to accept because the potential buyer will almost always ask for a lower price.

    If I am buying, I initiate contact through email. I usually ask questions such as where the item was made, overall condition, etc. I do this so I can get a sense of the seller's attitude. If I am satisfied, with the answers, I reply with my cell phone number. Then we speak on the phone and arrange to meet.

    Regardless of whether I am buying or selling, I always arrange to meet in a well lit public place, preferably somewhere which has security cameras, such as a mall parking lot, McDonald's, or sometimes Guitar Center.