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Want to ship a SVT or other heavy tube head?

Discussion in 'For Sale: Amps, Preamps, and Cabinets' started by the dude, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    That's how mine arrived. Bill was about the same. Came from pretty far away, I can't remember exactly.
  2. BillyB_from_LZ


    Sep 7, 2000
    Shippers don't like small light boxes, they like smallish heavy boxes. I suppose there is some logic in that somewhere, but one seems to pay a premium for sending small light stuff.
  3. Did everything mentioned in the OP. Got a dish barrel from uhaul, took my VB-2 to FedEx, had them pack it. They said I couldn't use the dish barrel if I wanted their guarantee. Ended up having to buy a giant FedEx box. Total ended up being $90 for a 55 lb head

  4. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004

    Never heard of FedEx requiring you use their box to get insurance.
  5. It's possible I just got ripped off by some inexperienced associates. They seemed a bit confused when I brought my stuff in to be packed and didn't seem familiar with the situation. I read some google reviews about this location and a few people said that they didn't really know what was going on.
  6. Andy FitzGibbon

    Andy FitzGibbon

    Sep 17, 2012
    Montrose, WV
    Professional Luthier
    I just discovered that the double wall box from a new Ampeg 210AV cabinet works pretty darn well for an old SVT head. Slightly too long, but other than that it's a tight fit, and you can use the foam corners that are part of the 210AV packing.
  7. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Hey All. Just shipped a very nice condition 1977 Hiwatt DR 201. Thought I would share. I've shipped one other big tube amp, some medium cabs, a bunch of pedals, and a few class D amps.

    I use the UPS store, and have never had a single problem. I gather that they are a little more expensive, but like I said, I have had a good experience with them. On smaller stuff, I usually pack it myself. On larger, valuable, and breakable stuff, I have them pack it. It's an extra cost, but should the worst happen I want things to be clear and easy.

    I have also had many things shipped to me - including an Ampeg B15 (beautifully packed), and a vintage Fender Bassman 100 head that came in a super thin used box, barley held together, with the tubes all in place, and with nothing more than a little news paper for packing. Amp arrived ok, but if something did happen, what a nightmare for me and the seller.

    I just don't understand how some dudes say that this ship heavy tube amps for $40 or $60 or what ever. I imagine that those are shipped about like that Bassman that I got. I think you can get away with paying that much for shipping only, but that is not taking into account the cost of packing materiel and the fact that there is probably no insurance, and I also imagine that if the amp is damaged, the insurance (if they even got that) would be a long and unpleasant process. We have all seen pics on here of stuff damaged in shipping. I just recently saw pics of a new model Hiwatt where the head box was completely crushed.

    Shipping the Hiwatt...

    For starters, I pulled all the tubes out of the amp. I believe UPS will not cover insurance if there is glass in the package, and this should be done anyway so the buyer doesn't get an amp full of broken glass. I wrapped the tubes in a ton of bubble wrap, and shipped them in a separate box. I have seen guys pull the tubes, bubble wrap them, and then place them in the chassis of the amp. This is ok, but again, I think UPS is picky about glass. Shipping the tubes separately cost me $12.

    I label the tube sockets, and the tubes. This way the buyer can pop everything right back where it belongs...


    I also pulled the pre tubes, and then stuffed a little packing materiel in the tube retainers so that they would have tension and not rattle around / come loose during transport.

    I took the amp (free of glass) to the UPS store and had them take care of everything. I had a very nice box I was going to use, but decided against it. It was a box that my Berg CN212 shipped in - super thick and very heavy duty. If you pack it yourself, you sign a waver, and that can come back on an insurance claim. I was going to have the UPS guys pack the amp in my box, but I found out that if anything did happen, I could be at fault for using a previously used box. Like some guys on here say, I guess you could buy a new box, and have UPS pack it, but for me that was extra trouble, extra time, and extra gas driving around that might save me just a few dollars. So I had UPS provide the box.

    They wrapped the amp in tight fitting cardboard. Then a layer of bubble wrap around that. Then into a bigger box with a layer of packing peanuts. If some damage comes up, they handled everything, and packed the box to meet UPS specifications.

    I paid for $3000 worth of insurance. Also required a signature upon delivery. I don't want the UPS guy leaving the amp on a doorstep of an apartment complex.

    The amp weighed 58 pounds. It is a big amp. It went from Austin, TX to Philadelphia, PA. The total cost was $163.66. A lot of dough, but I discussed that up front with the buyer - he paid $150 for shipping. I lost a few bucks, I guess, but feel that I did things right by him and by my rare vintage amp.
  8. I've stopped using UPS, because even when sellers have required a signature, the driver still leaves the package sitting on the porch without even ringing the doorbell. I know, because I am here waiting for the shipment, and watching from the window. I now use FedEx, and get the shipment directed to one of the FedEx Office stores a couple miles from my house. They let me know when it arrives, and I can pick it up after providing ID and a signature. UPS doesn't really want home delivery business, and it shows.

    As for the rest of your post, you seem like a very honorable seller, and did an excellent job of showing how to properly pack and ship a tube amp.

  9. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Nice to know Marcus, and thanks.

    At least the signature is required, so if the guy does leave it on the door and someone snatches the box, it will come back on UPS and not me or the buyer.

    Lots of dudes say good things about FedEx.
  10. Iwalkedin


    Apr 4, 2014
    I dont even have any heavy heads I just wanted to see that Sammy Hagar avatar man its cool
  11. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Wanted to give an update as I just shipped an SVT head recently. I took it to my local Fed Ex Kinko's store, and due to the size I had to have a custom box made, which ended up being $70 for the box and packaging total. Then shipping from Delaware to Texas, from one Fed Ex Kinko's to another (so no home delivery), insured for the over $1000, and I used my Fed Ex account for a 5% savings. Total was $70 packaging, $68.78 in freight, so just under $140 total.
    Sputter likes this.
  12. what's wrong with ampeg svt .nim be able to help.
  13. Todd mason

    Todd mason

    May 3, 2016
    I just sold my Mesa 400+. Went to our local recycling center that keeps the boxes outside for a day or two so people can come pick them up if they want. 5 minutes of rummaging and I found a nice heavy box, lots of styrofoam and a large amount of thick bubble wrap. Ten minutes later my super well packed box was ready for fedex home.
    Sold the amp on eBay and created a shipping label. Only $39 shipped from iowa to Texas insured for $900. Feel pretty good about that.
    And I should mention that before I decided to pack it myself I contacted a pack and ship place and they quoted me $134 for the same fedex home delivery! Wow!
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  14. mikeddd


    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    It's a bit of a pain and takes up space, but I save all bubble wrap, those inflatable plastic pillow things and a good amount of peanuts...basically all packing materials I receive when I buy things, as well as a decent variety of boxes. It comes in very handy when I sell stuff and I don't have to go buy anything. Selling big/heavy stuff is just a pain for everyone, both buyer and seller.
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  15. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas El Duderino Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    For tube amps, is it the consensus that tubes have to be removed prior to shipping?
  16. Bigbri


    Aug 4, 2015
    always remove the tubes and bubble wrap first.
  17. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Has anyone ever received an amp from a manufacturer with the tubes pulled and packed separately? I haven't.
  18. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    Looking for any pricing updates for larger or heavier items. Anyone ship a 2x12 or 2x15 non-neo lately over a fairly large distance? Please share. 50+ pound and/or 30x30x20 or so, maybe even bigger? Just getting my ballpark numbers in line. Thanks!
  19. BillyB_from_LZ


    Sep 7, 2000
    If it's too big for FedEx Ground, I've used (and have good luck with) ForwardAir (although it hasn't been for many years). With ForwardAir both you and the recipient need to be near (or willing to travel to) one of their terminals (typically near major airports).

    When I've shipped 8x10s and big Acoustic 1x18 folded horns, I built a crate for each one, but I don't believe that's a requirement (I was just being a bit nutty).
    Bigbri likes this.
  20. Jabjibbin


    Mar 1, 2017
    Dont know if its been mentioned, but printing your fedex label through your ebay sellers account gets you a 40% discount on the shipping.

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