MATRIXSYNTH: How to pack a synth

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How to pack a synth

flickr set by transanalog
(click for more)

I put this together because I've come to expect a certain amount of shipping damage when I receive a synth in the mail. It's as if the person who sent it to me thinks that the delivery people will treat packages as they were made from their mother-in-laws antique china or something. In reality most delivery people, ESPECIALLY UPS, seem to want to see how high they can drop a package on it's side. The result is a damaged synth if it's not packed properly. So, spend a little extra cash - hell, I'll SEND you a little extra cash - buy the packing stuff and pack it like it's going to be dragged from Cousin Bubba's 1978 Dodge Ram 4X4.

I've been packing synths like this for years and I've never had a customer report any damages.

A quick note: If you use that expandable foam in a bag packing stuff then you probably already know what you're doing and can ignore this. That stuff is awesome!"

KORG MicroPreset pictured

My Note: Remember, DO NOT TAPE THE BUBBLE WRAP TO THE SYNTH. Tape it to the bubble wrap when it overlaps. I once picked up a beautifully wrapped ARP Odyssey MKIII, until I got down to the synth. The bubble wrap was taped to the side panels and the Orange font. I managed to get it off one panel and the font without a problem, but on one panel a fingernail sized bit of the finish came off. Scared for life...


  1. Hi,
    where has the bubbled side to be faced to, inside or outside?

  2. I would recommend on the inside.


  3. Good for those completely inept however I wouldn't say this is the ideal way to pack a piece of electronics.

    1 - use the Pink Anti Static Bubble wrap. its designed for electronics.

    2 - place the synth in a plastic bag sealed to keep moisture out.. then you can actually tape to the synth as well

    3 - DON'T use Foam chips unless you have nothing else - STATIC DISCHARGE - every wonder why they stick to you?

    4 - use Foam sheets from home depot. they are only $8 each and can be cut to line the box like a flight case.. they will not pour out of the box if the box is punctured.

    5 - NEVER ship a synth UPS.. pay the extra $ and use FedEX.

  4. I think these tips should be sticked somewhere on the site.

  5. rick... I agree with you, this isn't "ideal" but this is intended for the eBayer or shipper who occasionally sells a synth and doesn't know how to pack it properly. Antistatic bubble wrap and bags like that aren't something that the average Joe can pick up at the local Office Depot.


  6. True.. was just adding to your excellent demonstration. I just boxed up a CS40m yesterday.. turned out nice.. I find the double box is helpful as well. I've shipped a great deal of valuable synths in my day ;)

  7. I really do wish Anti-Static bubble wrap was more readily available.

  8. Good idea fischek. I added a link on the right under the More Stuff section.

  9. To those who think FedEx is better then UPS, be warned.

    In college I took a part time job loading and unloading trucks. The truck drivers would come in with the back of the trucks packed and heavy things would usually smash smaller packages. They then trained me to throw everything onto the conveyor which would then be thrown onto another truck. This method was more time efficient then walking over and placing it properly. And if it was a semi trailer you should be prepared to have your package football thrown to the back. And often your packages would get walked on as they carried heavier things that didn't make quite as good distance to the back. My trainers said if they really cared about what they shipped they would of insured it.

    I never ship FedEx due to this experience.

  10. I have a very similar tale from a shipping company i worked at one Xmas.. i think they are all the same really, FedEX is more accountable at least in my experience.

  11. Be careful if you're packing a MkIII Arp Odyssey or any of the Arps with overhanging keyboards. If the synth isn't packed properly, the overhanging keys can tear right out should the package be handled roughly. This happened to a MkIII Odyssey I purchased some years ago. The seller packed it with newspaper (dumb idea) and put it in a box that was actually two boxes taped together with a single layer of clear packing tape. Only five keys survived, and the damage from the keys apparently damaged internal components. Fortunately I got a full refund, but it was a really nice near-mint Odyssey. Such a shame.

    Obviously, most people are smart enough not to pack a synth this way, but I caution everyone when it comes to a keyboard with overhanging keys. Place something under them, like a firm piece of foam, and use extra bubble wrap on that end of the keyboard. Double boxing is a great idea too.

    As for peanuts, why is it so difficult to find the environmentally friendly peanuts? Years ago, I moved to NYC and packed up my synths in boxes filled with peanuts made from cornstarch. When I arrived, I simply poured the peanuts into the bathtub and turned on the water. In about half an hour, they had dissolved completely, leaving nothing to mess up landfills.



©2018 Matrixsynth - All posts are presented here for informative, historical and educative purposes as applicable within fair use.
MATRIXSYNTH is supported by affiliate links that use cookies to track clickthroughs and sales. See the privacy policy for details.