#1
So I'm moving across the country and I'm debating whether I should just check my guitar on the plane or ship it via UPS or whatever. My worry about taking it on the plane is how it will be treated and the environment of the luggage compartment. It's an acoustic epiphone. Also I don't know how expensive it would be to have it shipped. Any advice? Thanks!
#4
if you do it by plane, a normal hard case should be enough, just pack it with a bit of foam so that it can't shift around in the case (I do this every year to my guitar, for the past 3 years, and it still plays great, and hasn't been subject to any damage). Also, make sure to take the strings off, or at least loosen them considerably, because for some reason the strings will exert more force on the neck with lower pressure, so the neck can snap or warp. other than that, make sure that you have a hard case and make it so that the guitar can't move inside the case, stick a few fragile stickers on there, and a lock so that your guitar doesn't get taken out of the case, and you're set.

EDIT:
Quote by Anti Vicarious
Carry it on the plane dumbass, and ask the flight attendant to put it in the closet.


You're not allowed to on most flights, because it's too big to go as carry on luggage. dumbass.
Gear:
Fender Hot Rod Deville 2x12
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I like my stuff!
#5
Man, I used to work as a baggage handler and would highly recommend having a hard case if you're putting it on the plane. I've seen some pretty awful things happen to innocent guitars.
#6
Thanks everyone...even for the one who referred to me as a dumbass. I do have a hard case so I'll take the advice to pack it so it can't move and loosen the strings. Thanks again.
#7
Hey man tht one-step down part is crucial, it WILL eff up your neck if you dont
Gettin rid of me RR3 =(
#9
My guitar made it here safe and sound...took the advice and loosened the strings and packed some soft cloth around the body so it wouldn't move around a lot. Almost had a heart attack when I got to baggage claim and all the bags came off and it wasn't there. Luckily I spotted it sitting on the floor in a random pile with the over-sized baggage...no one was even watching it and anyone could have walked up and taken it. Was very relieved to have it there in one piece. Gotta love airports.
#10
They shouldnt be able to leave baggage lying around like that. I recently bought a Fender Tele in Cincinatti, Ohio and flew it back to Australia with me, all up 2 days worth of flying.
When I picked it up in Sydney Airport it was in an Oversized Baggage Area that was monitored by a guard and you have to Identify yourself, If your name matches the one on the case, he'll let you have it.
#11
Where are you guys hearing this loosen the strings info from? All of the big manufacturers specifically tell you NOT to do that...

straight off of Taylor's website:
" Many players and repairpersons believe it's best to de-tune a guitar for long-distance flights, due to changes in air pressure and temperature in the baggage compartment. We don't recommend doing so, because if you de-tune a guitar for any length of time, you also have to loosen the truss rod. Otherwise, the neck may develop a back bow, and it could prove difficult to completely correct that. In other words, you actually could do long-term damage to the instrument by loosening the strings and not loosening the truss rod at the same time. On a Taylor guitar, it's best to simply leave it as is, even on relatively long flights. Otherwise, just use your best judgement when it comes to traveling with your Taylor. For example, don't leave it sitting in a car for any length of time, because not only can it be stolen, but the extreme temperatures can cause serious damage resulting in costly repairs."

From Larrivee's website:
"Do NOT take tension off the strings when shipping your guitar. This is a dangerous practice as the machine heads and headstock are the heaviest parts of the guitar, and the string tension from proper tuning serves to counteract the stresses these parts place on the instrument. Some people on the internet will tell you that loosening the strings is a good idea - If it was such a good idea, then every manufacturer would do it. Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Larrivee, Collings, etc all ship our guitars new from the factory at full tension - What makes your guitar any different?"

get the idea? Glad to hear your guitar made it safely.
#12
Quote by Nims
Where are you guys hearing this loosen the strings info from? All of the big manufacturers specifically tell you NOT to do that...


From this guy:

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/FF/aboutme.html

And he's been Martin's go-to guy for repairs in his area for 25 years. I haven't seen any bit of information on his site that I disagree with yet, and I'm not about to start now. If there's anyone out there that ought to know what's right and what's wrong when it comes to shipping guitars, it's guys like this. Another highly qualified luthier is Dan Earliwine. You can find information of his, books and such, at Stewart Macdonald.
Also, Martin recomends to loosen the strings prior to shipping. Flip a coin I guess because there is contradictory info out there for sure. I'll stick with Frank on this one tho.
Last edited by LeftyDave at Jul 28, 2008,
#13
Come to think of it - I didnt de-tune my guitar and it was in the air for 36 hours and it's still fine!
#14
Quote by LeftyDave
From this guy:

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/FF/aboutme.html

And he's been Martin's go-to guy for repairs in his area for 25 years. I haven't seen any bit of information on his site that I disagree with yet, and I'm not about to start now. If there's anyone out there that ought to know what's right and what's wrong when it comes to shipping guitars, it's guys like this. Another highly qualified luthier is Dan Earliwine. You can find information of his, books and such, at Stewart Macdonald.
Also, Martin recomends to loosen the strings prior to shipping. Flip a coin I guess because there is contradictory info out there for sure. I'll stick with Frank on this one tho.


I just read his FAQ on flying. He doesn't say one word about de-tuning?

"Will my guitar be hurt if it has to go in the unpressurized baggage compartment of an airplane?

No.

But the airline baggage handlers are another story. Those guys have a reputation for being able to break ANYTHING. Since I see all the broken ones, I'm particularly nervous about sending a guitar through the baggage system.

Even if the lack of pressurization means that the guitar will be subjected to lower humidity the length of time in that environment is not enough to cause trouble.

When I fly with a guitar, I pack it as though I were shipping it by UPS. It goes in its hardshell case with stout packing around the peghead to prevent "whiplash." Then in a guitar shipping box packed with balled up newspaper or the like. I cut a D-shaped hole at the balance point so I can carry the box with one hand like a suitcase. I've never had an instrument injured when I travel this way.

You should be able to get a guitar box from any guitar shop. If you can't, you might try modifying a bicycle box."

Although in another section he says this:

"First, I like to loosen the string tension:

I don't think it's necessarily a good idea to release all the tension on a steel string guitar. Leaving some tension will support the peghead a little in a backward fall; it will also keep the bridge pins in place. For steel string guitars I detune the strings nearly but not completely slack. I'd leave a nylon string guitar tuned up because the tension is not so great."

To me, this is confusing and slightly contradictory.

Also, on Martin's site there is no info at all on flying or planes. I sent an email to their customer service and I will reply back when I receive their response.

I mean you can do whatever you want, but I'm trusting the words directly from Taylor, Larrivee, and pretty much every experienced tech/luthier I've ever talked to.

Also, common sense. I've never heard one good arguement for why you SHOULD loosen the strings, but I've heard plenty of good reasons why you SHOULDN'T. Even your man Frank says to loosen them, but not completely, and he doesn't even say why. He just says that "he likes to loosen them" with no explanation. Not good enough for me, but to each his own. I have shipped and flown with many guitars, never de-tuned and I've never had a problem.
#15
^ Pretty much why I said flip a coin. There's just too much contradictory info out there.
#16
Quote by LeftyDave
^ Pretty much why I said flip a coin. There's just too much contradictory info out there.


If you're curious... I've been emailing back and forth with a rep from Martin. They're just basically giving me the same answer over and over of "we recommend loosening the strings"

In my last email I said this to her:

"I appreciate that information, and I did read that. I guess what I'm trying to figure out is not the "what", but the "why". Perhaps this is a question for your engineering department? As an owner of a few Taylors, a Larrivee and a few Martins, I'm torn. They specifically say DO NOT loosen strings and you are saying to loosen them. As an engineer myself I find it hard to believe there is anything structurally different in the guitars themselves that would account for these opposing instructions.

removed - *excerpt I posted earlier from taylor's website*

They are making specific claims as to what can happen due to prolonged loose string tension for travel (or otherwise). What are your thoughts on these claims?

Again, please understand I'm not trying to be difficult, I just really want to get to the bottom of this. If you think there is someone else at Martin better suited to my incessant ramblings, please feel free to forward me along. :-)

Thank you for your time,
James"

I have not yet gotten a response. Either she got sick of responding like a parrot, or forwarded me to someone who cares. We'll see.
#17
Well, I only loosened the strings very slightly because I didn't want to completely remove all the tension because I think that would definitely screw up the guitar. It was in a hard shell case with loosely packed cloth so I think it would have been fine even if I didn't detune it a little. In general I was more worried about the way it would be handled, not as much about the string tension. I used to play violin and we would never purposely loosen the strings because it can mess up the tension...although I never had to travel on a plane with a violin...who knows.