How To Ship a Guitar Amp: Everything You Need To Know

How to Ship a Guitar Amp

When you buy or receive an amplifier, you don’t think about the logistics of the process at all; you’re just excited to try out your new amp. However, if you’re moving or selling your amp, you need to know exactly how to ship it in a safe way, which may be a bit complicated. Luckily, there are plenty of tricks and tips that can help you pack and ship your amp as safely as possible.

To ship a guitar amp, first, choose a reputable shipping company that will handle the transportation with the necessary care. Next, pack the amp, making sure to remove the tubes inside and wrapping all the cables. Fill the box with packing material and ensure nothing moves if you shake it.

If you want to know more, read the rest of this article. I will explain why shipping an amp can be a bit difficult and show you how to choose a shipping company and how to pack your amp properly. Moreover, I will answer some more questions you may have about this process.

Why Shipping Amps Is Complicated

As it’s becoming easier and easier to buy and sell through the internet, the time may come when you need to sell your amp to someone who lives far away from you, which will require you to ship the amp. Shipping anything can be a hassle, but shipping an amp can be a real challenge because it’s a complicated process.

Guitar amplifiers are implements that boost the sound of an electric or electro-acoustic guitar. They are made of several different electrical components that can be incredibly delicate, even in everyday situations. More importantly, guitar amps can be pretty expensive, which means any sort of damage during shipping can cost you dearly.

There are so many things that can go wrong during shipping. The components of guitar amps can be broken or damaged, rendering the whole device useless or requiring expensive repairs. You can’t just put the amp inside the box and hope for the best; you should learn how to pack it properly and choose the best shipping company that will make sure your package is handled with proper care.

Choosing the Best Shipping Company

Before you begin to think about packing the amp, you should choose the best possible shipping company that will handle the whole process. There is no way of knowing which company can do the best job unless you check out all the possibilities and ask the right questions

The first thing you can do is check the online reviews to see which company is considered the best. Generally, more reputable companies are trustworthy, but in the case of such a delicate package, you should ask questions to get all the information you can before making the selection.

If you can, choose a shipping company that specializes in shipping musical instruments. Such a company is specialized in handling delicate packages and is well aware of the delicate parts of a guitar amp. However, even if you don’t find a specialized company, just make sure that it can handle delicate items well and that it offers a tracking number to ensure it will arrive at the destination. 

Read Also: How to Ship a Guitar: The Complete Guide

How To Properly Pack Your Amp

Once you have chosen the best possible company that will handle your guitar amp, you need to pack it correctly. No matter how careful the handling is during the shipping, the package will be moved around continuously, so it’s up to you to make sure that everything inside the box stays intact.

Prepare Your Tools

The first step is to prepare everything you will need to pack your guitar amplifier. You will need an appropriate container that will fit the amp as well as any extra parts inside. Make sure to choose a sturdy box made of resistant material, preferably with padding inside.

Additionally, you should get more packaging material for the inside, such as bubble wrap, packing paper, foam pads, or packing peanuts. Try to find corner protectors, which will make sure the most delicate parts of your amp will stay intact no matter what. You should also buy plastic sheets and packing tape to help you with any additional packing issues.

Remove the Tubes

Generally, you should remove the tubes from inside the amp to make sure they will be completely safe and won’t come loose during transportation. Some people recommend leaving them in if you ensure that they are screwed tight, but it’s better not to risk it.

You can find the tubes in the back of the amplifier. Remove the back cover and then gently unscrew the tubes one by one, making sure not to damage them in the process. Remember the order of their positioning so you can label them for an easier installation. 

Pack the tubes by wrapping them in packing paper and bubble wrap, preferably individually, and then label them. Place all the tubes in a box and leave the box somewhere safe while you continue packing the rest of the amp.

Wrap All the Elements

The amplifier has several different chords attached to it, so you should make sure every one of them is wrapped properly. Gently wrap each cable in a loop and use rubber bands to hold them in place. Place bubble wrap around them and separate each loop with cardboard.

Next, you should wrap the amplifier. The first thing to do is fill the cavity on the back of the amp, which used to contain the tubes. Place some packing paper inside to make sure nothing will make its way in there. Place the corner guards on the amp and then wrap the whole device using bubble wrap. Make sure every inch is covered and protected from any damage.

Put the Amp Inside the Box

The next step is to place the amp inside the secure box, but before that, you should place some packing material on the bottom. It’s not wise to place the amp directly inside the box without some protective layers. Packing paper or bubble wrap would do, as long as the layer is thick.

Next, you should gently pick up the amp and place it in the middle of the box, leaving empty space all around it. Don’t worry, this space will be completely filled, so the amp will have nowhere to go if the box moves.

Fill the Empty Space

Once the box is inside, you should carefully place every other element, like the tubes or any additional part inside the box. Try to place these parts delicately, making sure they will not be crushed by the amp during transportation.

Once every element is inside the box, you should make sure that all the space is filled with packing materials that will not allow them to knock into each other. You can use bubble wrap, packing paper, and packing peanuts.

Tape the Box 

All that’s left after filling the box is taping it shut in a secure way. Use packing tape, which is the right size and it’s strong enough to secure big boxes; any other type of tape may not be able to do the job. Cover all the seams and pay special attention to the top, which is more likely to split open at some point.

How Much Would Shipping an Amp Cost?

As mentioned above, shipping a guitar amplifier is no easy job, considering the expensive cargo and the delicate parts. When you contact companies to ask about the details of the shipping, you should also ask about the prices and see which company can do the best job at the most reasonable price.

The cost of shipping depends on the size and weight of the amp, but also the distance and method you choose for shipping. The typical range is between $30 and $300 or more. While the cheapest option may seem like the best choice, you may want to spend extra to make sure your amp is completely safe.

Read Also: How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Guitar?

Extra Tips for Shipping Your Amp

Shipping a guitar amp is not easy, but it can be less complicated than you think if you know exactly what steps to take and the choices to make. Here are some more tips that can help you with this process:

  • The box should be at least 5 inches (12.7 cm) bigger than the amp, to accommodate the rest of the elements and the fillers. Try to find one with a padded interior.
  • Packing peanuts can be helpful, but they should not be the only type of packing material you use. Packing paper or bubble wrap is much more effective.
  • Once you have finished packing the box, give it a shake to see if anything moves inside. If something moves, you need to reopen the box and add more packing material.
  • Label the box properly, putting a fragile sticker on it and preferably an indicator for the right side up. The labeling will help the handlers take care of the package much more easily.
  • If you don’t want to handle the packing, you can go to a shipping company that handles the packing process as well. Understandably, this will cost extra.

Final Thoughts

Shipping a guitar amp may seem quite difficult and overwhelming, but it’s relatively easy once you know exactly what to do. The first and probably the most important step is to choose a reputable shipping company to make sure your amp will be handled with care and correctness. 

Afterward, you need to pack your amp in a way that leaves no room for accidents. Make sure every element is packed properly and securely and that there is no room inside the package for things to move around during transport.

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