Instructions for Shipping Your Component
It's important to use adequate packaging materials to prevent your
item from shipping damage.
Express, et al, have been known to severely damage components that
have not had adequate cushioning. The factory original packaging material
was designed for when UPS carried nothing over 70lbs (32kg). Nowdays,
they'll carry stuff weighing up to 150lbs (68kg). This means that the
factory original packing does not meet their published standards.
the best packaging materials cannot guarantee 100% protection from rough
handling, they won't pay an insurance claim on items that they deem inadequately
packaged. You don't want to find yourself spending the next four months
fighting a freight carrier on an insurance claim, so it's a good idea
to protect your investment and your peace of mind by taking a little time
beforehand to pack your component with the following suggestions in mind.
A chart showing typical shipping weights for Counterpoint and Aria products is located here.
items, such as the SA-2, SA-3/3.1, SA-5/5.1, SA-7, HC-808, HC-818,
HC-828 need, at the minimum, the original factory packing. If
you do not possess the original packing materials, keep in mind that
you need at least three inches (8cm) of cushioning on all six sides
of the item. It would not be excessive to consider putting the factory
box inside another, larger box, with at least two inches (5cm) of additional
cushioning on all six sides.
extra cushioning on the BOTTOM of the box is a good idea, too.
Do not use Styrofoam "peanuts" or "popcorn,"
because the item
can settle to the bottom of the box, leaving it with no cushioning,
and the stuff is a mess to deal with. There will be a $10 handling
and cleanup fee applied if this packing material is used.
Consider using at least 3'' of bubble-wrap.
Do not use those inflatable plastic "pillows" as UPS and other carriers
don't consider them sturdy enough for heavy items.
cushioning material, I recommend using bubble-wrap. Wrap the item
with the bubble-wrap and tape it securely.
items, such as the "thousand series" preamplifiers and
the smaller power amps (SA-9 audio chassis, SA-12, SA-100, NPS100, NPS200,
and Solid-1) need, at the minimum, the factory-original packing
materials, which then should be placed in a larger carton with additional
cushioning, as described for the small items, above. As
above, if you do not possess the original packing materials, keep in
mind that you need at least three inches (8cm) of cushioning on all
six sides of the item. It would not be excessive to consider putting
the factory box inside another, larger box, with at least two inches
(5cm) of additional cushioning on all six sides. For cushioning material,
I recommend using bubble-wrap. Wrap the item with the bubble-wrap and
tape it securely. SA-5000 owners: do not forget to install the
Transit Screws before shipping your unit. Click here
amplifiers, like the SA-11, SA-9 (power supply), SA-4, SA-8, SA-20,
SA-220, NPM, NPS400, Solid-2 and NP220 need much sturdier packaging.
SA-20, SA-220 and NP220 owners: If you are not using a wooden crate
(below), I strongly suggest that you remove the amplifier's front panel
and keep it with you. There are no replacement panels available. These
amplifiers are quite front-heavy and if dropped, will land on their
"noses," often resulting in a bent corner. The front panel
can be removed with an allen (hex) drivers, and reinstalled when the
amplifier comes back.
you do use a crate, pack the amplifier, in its original packing
material, into a wooden crate (look under "boxes" in the Yellow Pages
to locate a nearby crate shop). If you are unable to have a wooden
crate made, I can provide one for $135 + shipping and will send to to
you COD. If you want to make your own crate, I recommend that you make
it like the one below. If you do not have the original packing
materials to put the amplifier into before placing it into the crate,
then read the caption below the crate photo, below.
construction of crate.
This is the kind of crate I can supply for shipping your component. A
proper shipping crate uses 1x2 framing and 3/8'' plywood panels. Note
the construction: 1 x 2's are first stapled around all the plywood
pieces, then the crate is assembled by screwing or nailing through the
1x2's, not through the edges of the plywood pieces. Crates will not
survive if they are held together by fasteners which go into the edges
of the plywood parts as they are guaranteed to delaminate, and the
sides will open. 2x4 skids on the bottom give finger space for lifting.
Deck screws are used to affix the top cover -- they go into the side
1x2's, not the plywood. DO NOT NAIL THE LID ON UNLESS YOU WANT TO RISK
US DESTROYING THE CRATE WITH A CROWBAR.
A Note About Home-Built Crates:
I've only had one (1) home-built crate arrive here that was built well
enough to survive shipping. Home-built crates are not only 20 to 30 lbs
heavier than a professionally-built one (which increases the chances
that it will be dropped), they are not strong enough to survive
shipping. It's very frustrating here to receive a unit in a heavy
plywood and 2x4 crate that is falling apart. You'll end up buying a
professional one anyway because we are not carpenters.
you do not have the factory-original packing to put inside the crate,
make certain that it is large enough to allow at least three inches of
padding on all six sides of the amplifier. Use sheets of bubblewrap or
polyethylene foam (the white squishy stuff), please do not use
polystyrene foam (the white crumbly stuff) or foam rubber -- the former
shreds and does not absorb shock well, and the latter is not stiff
enough to keep the amp from bashing against the inside of the crate if
it is dropped.
pictured is has internal dimensions to fit Counterpoint's cardboard
shipping cartons for the NPM/SA-11/NPS400/200/SA-20/220 ( 24-1/2
inches by 24-1/2 inches' by 13-1/2 inches deep. It weighs about
30lbs. Other sizes are available and can be built to your specifications. Special note: we are not carpenters! if you plan to use your
own crate, be certain that it can be opened and closed with a
Philips driver, a square drive, or a hex ("Allen") driver -- not nails.
CUSTOMERS: Beginning September, 2005, any wood crate entering the USA
must be treated to prevent pest infestation and have the WPM symbol
printed on it. Wood crates not treated per ISPM-15 standards will not
be allowed in the USA. ISPM-15 is an international standard in use by
Europe and many countries. See ISPM-15 (requires Adobe Reader). Read more about the Wood Packaging Material Standard here.
All wood crates shipping to overseas destination are built in accordance with ISPM-15. Click here to view and print the crate manufacturer's declaration (pdf, 51kb).
you want to use the US Postal Service to ship a parcel to me, or want
me to ship something to you, then do not exceed the maximum size the
postal service will handle.
In the U.S., the maximum package size is 108 inches (270 cm), and it is measured like this:
||Measure the Girth and add the Length. It must be less than 108 inches (270 cm).
Also, do not exceed these dimensions:
Length = 46 inches (115 cm)
Width = 35 inches (85 cm)
Height = 46 inches (115 cm)
has a fairly involved system to determine whether a large package
is oversized, and whether it will be billed at a higher "dimensional
weight" than its actual weight. To be taken to their page, click here.
Vista Audio LLC will normally ship your unit back to you in the packing
you provided. However, under certain circumstances we will decline
to use the packing provided and will ask you to either approve the
purchase of a wood crate, or release us from liability if you do not
wish to purchase a wood crate.
may decline to use your packing materials without a signed waiver
of liability on file for the following reasons:
Inadequate Packing Materials. If in my opinion the packing materials
you provided are sufficiently inadequate that in the event the unit
is damaged the freight carrier will refuse to honor any insurance
claim, and if you decline to purchase a wood crate, we will need
a signed waiver of liability on file before
Multiple Packages. Units consisting of two or more parts, such
as preamps with separate power supplies, should be shipped to us
in one box. Freight carriers seldom pay full replacement cost for
a unit even if it is made completely unusable by loss or damage
to one of its components. So if the power supply is lost, you will
not get full replacement value, more like 1/2. Replacement
cost for a unit is based on Orion Blue Book value for like used
models, so insuring each carton for twice the amount won't help.
We recommend using one box and can have a wood crate fabricated
to hold both cartons. If you decline to purchase a wood crate, and
insist that we use your multiple packing, we will need a
signed waiver of liability on file before we ship.
your packing fits either of these two catagories, we will not ship
the component back to you without first obtaining a signed waiver
from you releasing Alta Vista Audio from liability if the product
gets damaged on its way back to you. Click on the underlined links
above, or here, to view the waiver. Print
it, sign it, date it and fax it back to the number on the waiver.
Vista Audio L.L.C. will not be held responsible for any damage incurred
while in transit to us. We inspect everything when it arrives, and
if it appears to be damaged we will contact you. If there is damage,
you will need to contact the shipping company to file a damage claim
because you are the shipper. We can provide estimates of the repair
Unless you authorize us to use a wooden
crate, we will return your component in your supplied packing and
we will not be held responsible for any damage incurred while your
component is being shipped back to you because you provided the packaging
to obtain insurance for the component. Most carriers offer only a minimal
amount of insurance (around $100) unless you purchase more. Specify
an amount sufficient to cover the replacement cost of the component
in the event it is damaged or lost, and remember that if the freight
carrier judges the packaging to be inadequate, they may deny the damage
WE WOULD PREFER THAT YOU SHIPPED BY ANYBODY OTHER THAN THE POSTAL SERVICE. IF SHIPPING BY POSTAL SERVICE, and if your package requires a signature,
and if the carrier misses us (we are out on an errand, buying parts or
something) then we will have to gothe post office and stand in line to
get the package because they do not attempt re-delivery. If we have to
do that, then I will add a $45 fee to your invoice.
About "concealed" or "internal" damage.
Sometimes, even when electronics items have been correctly packed and
handled, internal damage can occur; but without any clear signs of
external damage exist, insurers will not honor a claim.
kind a damage we frequently see here will be a dinged or bent corner on
an amplifier's front panel, indicating that the amplifier was dropped.
Sometimes even a couple front panel bolt are sheared off. But there is
rarely any exterior damage to the box or packing because the foam and
cardboard immediately spring back to their original shape after the
drop. Believe it or not, we've had front panels clipped entirely loose
from amplifier fronts with no sign on the outside of the carton that
the amp was dropped.
also find loose screws or knobs or other loose parts that show that the
package was subject to a lot of shipping vibrations. Or a transformer
completely adrift inside the unit, mounting bolts broken. Of course
there is no sign of external damage.
kind of damage is called "internal damage" or "concealed breakage" and
unless your shipper's policy explicitly states that they provide
coverage for such damage, it's very unlikely that they will pay for
reason that if a loose screw backs out during shipping -- and it will,
no matter how good the packing materials are -- it's not their fault. A
more extreme example would be if you gave them a carefully-packed Ming
vase with a billiard ball loose within it: the vase is not likely to
arrive in one piece and the shipper sees no reason why they should pay
we find internal damage with no clear signs of external damage or rough
handling we will let you know immediately. Your component will be
re-packed exactly as it was when it was received and set aside until we
hear from you.
you wish to file a claim, do so immediately. Ask what the deductible
limit is and tell me as soon as possible, I can check to see if the
cost to repair any damage exceeds this value or not. If the deductible
amount is greater than the cost to repair then there's no point in
continuing with the claim.
you choose to continue with the claim, then the shipping company may
send a claims adjuster to Alta Vista to inspect the unit for damage. Or
they may request photographs of the damage, which I can provide within
a few days. There's a possibility that they may request the unit to be
shipped to them, which can result in additional damage since they will
want to see it packed exactly as it was when it arrived. I can't tell
what the shipping company will want to do, and of course we can't be
responsible for any additional damage to your unit if they want to take
it for more inspection.
Until the matter is settled, your component will be placed on hold and will remain in its packing material.
You can bring your unit to us at the above address, but please call ahead
first! We do our work in my
house, but can't guarantee that there will be anyone home if you drop by
without warning. Generally speaking, any time during business hours (9
to 5) on weekdays should present no problem, and special arrangements
for evenings and weekends can be made, too. But mornings before 9 on weekdays
and 10 on weekends are pretty much out of the question.
Customers will want to take extra paperwork steps to avoid paying
customs or duties when their repaired or upgraded units are returned from
the U.S. Click here for some possibly