This web page originally published by Joel Thorner on The Turntable Factory's Website in 2008. We have recreated
it here for your convenience.

Packing your turntable for shipment pack1.jpg (33165 bytes)

PLEASE NOTE: UPS/FedEx is cracking down on electronic items shipped through them. They are now requiring that ALL electronic goods be DOUBLE BOXED!

Also note... although it's mentioned again below, do NOT use a box larger than 24" x 24" x 18". There are 2 reasons for this. One, it's rare that anything bigger is necessary, and, in fact, a box that's larger tends to become bulky and hard to handle, and that will mean more chance of damage during handling. Almost as important is the cost.. Once a box is ANY larger than these dimensions, it becomes "oversize 2", which means that UPS will base it's charges on a 70 pound parcel, rather than one that's around 30 pounds ("oversize 1"). This could DOUBLE the shipping cost for a unit coming from the West Coast! When we get an "oversize 2" box in here, we WILL cut it down to be "oversize 1" when at all possible. If you're unsure about box sizes/weights and charges, go to the website. They have a calculator. Whether you're shipping to us, or someone else, you'll need the destination ZIP code to do your calculations. We'd be happy to give you our ZIP for those calculations.

OK, let's get started:

Here's what we find to be the best (and perhaps ONLY) way for packing turntables through over 25 years of shipping them (Please note: These are generalized instructions. Some machines may require a different packing procedure. If you e-mail us with your make and model, we will be happy to give you any deviations) :

(1) If, perchance, you have the ORIGINAL BOX AND PACKING, by all means USE it! But.. Pad it and then put it in an overbox to help protect the contents and the original box. Skip the rest of the steps and go step (A) below, Otherwise, continue...

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(2) If there's a dust cover, remove the hinges (even if they are screwed on), pad it well and box it separately! You can put it in the same box as the main unit IF IT IS BOXED AND WELL PADDED, and 2 inches MINIMUM from the top of the outer box!!! Please note: If you are sending the unit here, to The Turntable Factory for repair, check with us FIRST, as there's a good chance we will ask you to LEAVE YOUR DUSTCOVER SAFELY AT HOME. pack3.jpg (13302 bytes)


(3) If there's an overhang arm, position it up over the tonearm

(4) Remove the counterweight, headshell, & spindles. (if they're removeable)

(5) Clip the tonearm to the rest, secure it. (masking tape is OK for this)

(6a) For most multi-play changers: Put cardboard "shims" under the front and rear edge of the platter.. Also, pay special attention to step 12a.

(6b)For most single play turntables: Remove the platter and mat, pad them and insert under the turntable. Rule of thumb is, if the platter doesn't lift off or come off by tapping the center spindle lightly with a hammer while exerting upward pressure on it, leave it in place.

(7) Use the transit screws to secure the unit to the base. This step only applies to most record changers. If you don't see big screws on the chassis of the unit, skip the step. Many units do NOT have them, and most single play turntables do not, either.

(8) Wrap the cords.

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(9) Put the whole unit in a big enough plastic bag to cover it completely (You don't want ANY tape to contact the actual machine) careful of the tonearm!

(10) Go to the Post Office and get a free "large" USPS Priority Mail box (It's the one that is used to ship video-cassettes, about 9" X 6" X 2 1/2"

(11) Assemble the box, and insert the all the small accessories in the box, including the dust cover hinges (if you removed them from the cover) Wrap each accessory in small bubble-pak, paper towel or toilet paper, and cushion the inside of the box with some padding so it won't crush.

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(12) Center the box on the platter, and wrap tape tightly around the unit (use 2" Cellophane Packing Tape and tape from front to back..not side to side), holding the box firmly to the unit and helping to hold the platter to the chassis, and the chassis to the base. Putting the box on the unit makes it the high point of the turntable..should the unit wind up upside-down during handling (and it will!), that box will take the hardest hits, saving the tonearm!!!!

(12a) If you are shipping a STACKING CHANGER, and the LONG automatic centerpost (spindle) does NOT remove, you'll then need to use 2 or 3 boxes on the platter so that the total height of the boxes will be an inch or so over the top of the spindle. Do NOT use the spindle, itself, to put the holes in the boxes, use a screwdriver to do so.

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(13) Then, take about 2" of soft padding and line the entire bottom of your box. Place the unit on top of that padding. Then, pad the sides, back and front, each with at least 2" of soft packing material. Finally, pad the top of the unit up to the top of the box. Carpet underlayment foam works great, as does loosely-packed bubble-pak. MAKE SURE NOT TO TAPE ANY OF THE PADDING MATERIALS!!! Do NOT use shrink-wrap, and DO NOT tape any bubble pak or other packing material around the machine TIGHTLY!! The chances are great that a unit that is TIGHTLY WRAPPED will sustain tonearm damage!!! Keep in mind that we will need to be able to reuse all packing materials when we ship the machine back. IF WE CANNOT SAVE YOUR PACKING, WE WILL CHARGE YOU FOR NEW PACKING!!!!! The padding must be the soft-type, not hard styrofoam. Make sure there is at least 2 inches in EVERY direction...including the BOTTOM and CORNERS! DO NOT USE PEANUTS!!!!! They WILL shift, allowing the turntable to shift, resulting in DAMAGE to the turntable!! If a unit arrives with peanuts as the main packaging source, we will remove them and replace them with PROPER packing materials, and add the cost of those materials to the repair estimate.

(14) Add packing material to any open area (EXCEPT over the tonearm!). Seal that box closed with 2" packing tape.

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(15) Take your complete, taped up box and put it in a box that's about 2" (in EVERY DIMENSION) larger and use bubble-pack, styrofoam, balled up newspaper (or similar packing materials) to pad that box in the outer box. Peanuts are an acceptable padding ONLY if used between the inner and the outer box, and ONLY if the contents of the inner box can be removed without removing the inner box from the outer box!!!!! NOTE: MAXIMUM size for it not to be considered oversize (and cost considerably more) is 108" girth + height..(24" x 24" x 18" is as large as you should go, ANY dimension larger will be "oversize 2" and becomes a waste of YOUR money, and has NO added benefit!!), and that's more than ample for just about EVERY turntable.........And INSURE it!!

If a unit comes here, and is to be re-shipped via UPS, it MUST be double boxed, or my UPS depot will NOT accept it for shipment. In that case, I will have to overbox it, and charge for the extra box and padding. I don't know if your UPS depot requires this, but I'd assume it will only be a matter of time before ALL UPS (and other carriers) will require the double-boxing.

(16) These may sound like over-precautions, but BELIEVE ME...they are NOT!! Even going through all these steps will NOT guarantee a safe trip...BUT NOT FOLLOWING these steps will MOST ASSUREDLY result in a damaged unit!!! We've received turntables that were "packed by the professionals" that didn't survive because they were improperly packed. If you have a "pro" do it, give THEM these instructions!!!

(A) Please remember to enclose a NOTE listing the problems, along with your shipping address, phone numbers AND e-mail address!! We get a LOT of machines here, and can use a memory-jogger!

(B) We usually find FedEx Ground and to have much better pricing (and insurance) than the Post Office!! I wouldn't ship anything UPS, they'll find a way to damage your package and getting them to pay takes an act of God!

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If you are unsure of ANYTHING about packing your machine safely, please STOP, and call or e-mail us. We'd rather it take a bit longer if it means saving the machine from harm. This means, if you don't understand something (like how your transit screws work or how a part removes), we will explain it to you fully..


Here's a prime example of why we need to discuss a unit before it is shipped:

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This WAS a perfectly nice Dual 1209 that was packed improperly, destroyed almost beyond repair.

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