How To Ship Your Tube Amp Chassis For Repairs

Shipping your tube amplifier for repair is a lot easier than you may think.  It's not necessary to ship the whole thing, all you have to ship is the chassis.  (The chassis is the metal box that the tubes are in.)  The process for removing the chassis differs a bit from amp to amp, but most Fender and Marshall chassis can be removed using the following instructions.


1. Get a nice, clean coffee can or plastic box to keep your amp parts in while it is being repaired.

2. Remove the power cord anchor screw.  Follow the power cord into the back of the amp, and you'll find the cord has a clamp around it, and a single screw fastening that clamp to the inside of the amp cabinet.  Remove that screw, and save it in your coffee can.

3. Label the cords in the back panel of your amp, and then unplug everything from the back panel.  You'll always have a speaker cable to unplug. (Note that the speaker cable is in the SPEAKER jack, not the EXT SPEAKER jack.)  If you have reverb, mark the reverb cables as reverb input and reverb output.

4. Remove the chassis.

Amps with chrome straps on top (usually tolex covered amps):  On top of the amp, there are two chrome straps (about 6" long), on each end of the amp.

Remove the two screws holding each strap down.  You'll have to reach inside the cabinet, and hold the nut that's on the bottom end of each screw, on the bottom of the chassis.  Put the four nuts, four screws, and two straps in your coffee can.

The chassis will now slide out of the back of the amp.  Set the chassis to the side.

Amps without chrome straps on top (usually older tweed covered amps):  Remove the four screws holding the back panel in place.  (This is the panel that covers the tubes.)

Carefully remove the panel, and then lay the amp forward on its face, so the back of the chassis is facing up.  On either side of the amp control panel, there is one screw (two screws total).

Remove the two screws, and drop them in your coffee can. Pull the chassis straight up, and put it to the side.

5. We're done with the cabinet now. Put the can holding all your screws and parts inside the amp cabinet, and put it in a safe place.

6. Gently wiggle each tube, and pull it up gently, until it is out of the socket of the chassis.  Wrap each tube in bubble wrap, and put a rubber band around the bubble wrap to keep it in place.  Put all the tubes in a small box.  If there are any loose parts that need to be included, place them in a zip lock bag and include them in the small box with the tubes.

7. Box the chassis for shipping.  Wrap the tube-less chassis in paper, and put it in a well-padded box.  Cushion the small box with the tubes in it with plenty of paper, and place them in the box on top of the chassis.  Make sure everything is cushioned, and well insulated against shock or vibration.  Your box, when shaken, should not rattle or make noise. Before sealing the box, include a letter explaining what you would like done to the amp, and please include your name, address, phone number, and email address. (Make sure the box doesn't have any old labels on it, and all the seams are taped tight.)

8.  Ship your chassis, prepaid and insured, to Backstage Music, 115-B Highway 12 West, Starkville, MS 39759.  It doesn't matter if you use UPS, Fed Ex, or the Postal Service, make sure it is insured and has a tracking number.

Allen McBroom

Allen McBroom

Official "Online Guy" at Backstage Music

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