# How NOT to, and HOW TO pack an amplifier for shipment.

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This M500t was purchased by a member here, and shipped to me by the seller for a new relay on its way to its new home.

Unfortunatly, either through ignorance or apathy, the amplifier was packaged in an extremely poor manner, and suffered substantial damage. It was placed in a single wall cardboard box, 22x22x6, and just “floated” in a medium of foam peanuts and newspaper. The mass and weight of the 500t allowed it to basically move at will within the box. The amplifier took a substantial impact to the bottom left corner of the faceplate, hard enough to bend it and bind the power button. The face also took a hit, shattering the lens caps that hold the lens in place.

With some ore help from RodH and my parts unit, I have the parts to make it whole again.  Luckily, electrical function seems unaffected thus far, although I have not stress tested it yet.

Let this serve as a “how NOT to ship tutorial” for future reference....

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Wow!

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Ouch!  I'll definitely take that into consideration when I send you my toys to perform magic on.  Wow is right - someone dropped that from more than a few inches.

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I’ve seen what shipping can do to a properly packed package!

I learned to pack from RichP and I’m kind of anal about packing well!  Fortunately this is cosmetic, mine was a fractured main power board!

Barry

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One would think that if it is being sent back for a simple relay replacement and on to the new owner; the seller would want it to arrive without further damage.  Given the situation I probably would have refused shipment and put in a payment claim if it was sold via PayPal.  Very nice of you to source the spare parts and correct his mistakes DJT.

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The original shipment was packed as shown in Audio Equipment Packing .

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Yes, excellent job packing that amp LT as always from you.  I hope the amp in question was not 'on loan' to the person who re-shipped it to DJT, his poor judgment should not be of consequence to you.

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7 minutes ago, loner_t said:

The original shipment was packed as shown in Audio Equipment Packing .

I wouldn't recommend that type of packing for the M500t anymore. The M500t has very brittle PCBs and should be shipped in soft cushions to withstand falling and rolling. The above will aid in external protection, but I've learned many times that is not enough. Instead of the rigid Styrofoam, I'd use the softer foam, like this convoluted foam. This will help absorb impact away from the amp internals.

I just grab extra packing foam from work since we receive lots of computers and servers and stuff.

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Unfortunately, nearly all of us have a poor packing story. Most surprising is when it comes from a retailer who ships (used) equipment on a regular basis. Then when confronted, is pissed by the fact that he is held in any way, responsible.

I second the quality of LT as a responsible shipper. I think we had a contest going on there for awhile who could do the best job with shipping. He never disappointed.

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3 minutes ago, Nahash5150 said:

I wouldn't recommend that type of packing for the M500t anymore. The M500t has very brittle PCBs and should be shipped in soft cushions to withstand falling and rolling. The above will aid in external protection, but I've learned many times that is not enough. Instead of the rigid Styrofoam, I'd use the softer foam, like this convoluted foam. This will help absorb impact away from the amp internals.

I just grab extra packing foam from work since we receive lots of computers and servers and stuff.

I just read your post. I agree that with some equipment, extra considerations should be taken. In those cases, I like to use a multi-layer of materials that vary in density from soft to hard. If double boxing then I may have the inner box hold the unit firmly, and then the outer box is used more for absorption of the destructive forces of shipping.

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Some may remember my FIRST eBay Carver purchase.... I have the matching faceplate!

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Thanks for the packing tips.  Since I'm facing shipping my C-1 and M-1.0T out in a couple of months, any such tidbits are more than welcome, and I will try to put them to good use.

Looking at the one LT sent, do I see that as having been triple boxed?

Question - should anything be done INSIDE the units to support the boards, or just leave them as is?   Obviously filling the amp with spray foam is not wise, but perhaps tucking some of the Convoluted foam in there to help support the circuit boards?   Clearly not something to do when it's going somewhere it will just be plugged in and turned on, but heading for overhaul (with a suitable big red note on the case)?

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22 minutes ago, 4krow said:

I just read your post. I agree that with some equipment, extra considerations should be taken. In those cases, I like to use a multi-layer of materials that vary in density from soft to hard. If double boxing then I may have the inner box hold the unit firmly, and then the outer box is used more for absorption of the destructive forces of shipping.

Exactly.

My most recent problem was actually an M1.0t last year. It was double boxed, wrapped in bubble wrap, and the inner box surrounded in rigid styrofoam. Without any obvious damage to the box, the PCB was cracked down the middle from some extreme force.

These older PCBs crack very easily. So consider using some soft cushioning with rigid.

16 minutes ago, itchitch said:

Some may remember my FIRST eBay Carver purchase.... I have the matching faceplate!

Every time I see pics like this I cringe. I get stuff like this all the time. People send their amps to get refurbed and the shipping companies abuse the fuck out of their properly. There's no excuse for this. I've grown to really despise the way all the carriers treat other people's property.

The only good news is that I have never lost a claim.

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18 minutes ago, Brian_at_HHH said:

Looking at the one LT sent, do I see that as having been triple boxed?

It was, indeed.

34 minutes ago, Nahash5150 said:

The above will aid in external protection, but I've learned many times that is not enough. Instead of the rigid Styrofoam, I'd use the softer foam, like this convoluted foam. This will help absorb impact away from the amp internals.

I will start packing both the rigid outer and the convoluted foam for the direct contact with the 500(t)s.

THIS was packed by @itchitch. Is it a good alternative to the convoluted foam?

THIS was a cross-country shipment to @wrf for a MkII upgrade .

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35 minutes ago, loner_t said:

It was, indeed.

I will start packing both the rigid outer and the convoluted foam for the direct contact with the 500(t)s.

THIS was packed by @itchitch. Is it a good alternative to the convoluted foam?

THIS was a cross-country shipment to @wrf for a MkII upgrade .

Any kind of soft foam, or a very thick layer of bubble wrap (like 2" around) should be fine. Here's another type of foam I've used - Soft Foam.

I also use the type of foam that Itch used, but I would still consider that type as rigid. Servers are packed in that stuff - it's very, very reliable stuff. But like I said, if you can, put in a layer of the soft stuff too because servers do not have 30 year old phenolic.

Since y'all like pics, here's some of my repertoire - Soft foam on top, rigid foam on the left, syrofoam on the right.

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I always specify no peanuts/popcorn.  Even if  the amp survives the trip, the tiniest bits of that crap get everywhere; a real mess.  And they certainly can't do those meter movements any good.

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5" (10x around) of 1/2" bubble wrap takes good care of amps up to 50 or 60 lbs. Use two to four layers inside the inner box, the rest inside the outer box. Sure, it's a big box in the end, but it's worth saving an amp.

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Peanuts are the herpes of packing. You can never get rid of them all. I have found remenants not only on the exterior but the interior as well. If I have no choice, then I will put them loosely in a plastic bag. At least they are contained.... yes, I know, what if someone pokes a hole in the bag without your knowledge.

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Peanuts have their place. Void fill. If you take a trash bag and cover the gear tightly, it won't get peanut dust in it. If you wrap the gear in bubblewrap tightly, it won't get in either. Put an empty trash bag on top of the packaging inside the flaps for use to contain the peanuts inside when opened.

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yet, when they don't get into the equipment, they will get everywhere else. I hate the dam things. When I receive such a shipment I have to open it up in my shop, but never in my house.

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Has anybody notice how much shipping cost have gone up.  I shipped an M-500t mkII to California last week.  $89 with$700 insurance.  Granted it was in one of LT's wood crates which adds a little extra weight.  But still lots of $. I shipped a TFM-45 to Itch this week in a 3 layer cardboard box and foam. Cost$70.

Are we paying extra for their "special" handling.

BTW,  it is a real shame that amplifier was poorly packed and suffered damage.  Sad.

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Yeah, shipping costs are way up. They are taking advantage of E-commerce. Incidentally, there is no push back. I'm really surprised there aren't loads of start-up carrier companies cropping up for the money grab.

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@dennismiller55 my shipment to @wrf was fairly expensive too. Even staying on the East coast is now typically 50+.

5 hours ago, Nahash5150 said:

The﻿﻿ M500t has very brittle﻿ PCBs

This brings up a related question. What is the possibility of fabricating a new board, specifically for the M500/M500t?

If this his needs to be a separate topic, I can post a new thread.

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55 minutes ago, loner_t said:

This brings up a related question. What is the possibility of fabricating a new board, specifically for the M500/M500t?

If this his needs to be a separate topic, I can post a new thread.

It's possible, but....... One of the circuit board designers I worked with had the skill and CAD tools to copy a single side board, maybe one of the members has that ability.  A board that size might be pretty costly.

Mark

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They are giving volume discounts to Amazon and other large scale vendors; and making up for the expense by increasing the price to ship for non-volume/contract customers.  Thanks Amazon!!

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30 minutes ago, gold98gtp said:

A board that size might be pretty costly.

Do volume orders bring down the cost?

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