I don't know that much about VPI tables, but I'd definitely take the platter off to relieve any possible stress on that bearing.
I do have a TriPlanar, does your Tranfiguration Cart have a stylus protector? if so I'd leave it mounted, but take the arm off the table...the counter wieghts off the arm, so you only have 3 arm mounting bolts and reset the VTF when you arrive...not to much hassle...
There are only 3 things that can happen when shipping a TNT. 1) Damaged bearing, 2) Damaged arm, 3) Damage cartridge. Take the platter off. If you are worried about the platter not seating exactly on the spindle when you reinsert the platter, use the screw down clamp and remove the platter and spindle assembly as one piece. Take the arm off. This can be done by removing the 6 bolts that hold the arm mounting board. You can transport the tomearm, arm board and cartridge with stylus guard as one piece if you pack extremely well, BUT, if it were me, I would take the cartridge off to avoid any possibility of damage.
When you lift the plinth off your current support shelf, the feet will remain in place, therefore, you have no other option than to transport the feet separately.
If you have the TNT with air bladder support towers, take the air out of the bladder if you are shipping by air transport.
If you want to make the re-setup as easy as possible and still do as much as is practical to avoid damage, this is what I would do in your situation (in short, remove and pack separately anything that can move):
- remove arm board with tonearm/cartridge still on it. Secure tonearm to it's rest with strips of blue painter's detailing tape (strong, easily removable, and won't leave residue). Secure stylus guard with some of the same tape. Wrap the whole thing firmly in a generous amount of bubble wrap and double box. If you can, transport this yourself.
- remove platter and bearing shaft. Clean bearing shaft with alcohol and wrap it and platter separately from each other in bubble wrap and box.
- clean area around top of bearing well with alcohol and cover with a piece
of plastic packing tape to prevent any lubricant from spilling out. Better yet, use this as an opportunity to clean bearing well and relube later.
- remove rubber ball suspension and feet and pack separately. Leave corner towers attached.
- put plinth in a SOFT pillow case and wrap in lots of bubble wrap and
box. This is one of the reasons I would not let the moving co. do the packing; the plinth's acrylic can be easily marred if wrapped in anything that is the least bit abrasive.
- if you use a flywheel do the same as for the platter/bearing. Wrap motor assembly in lots of bubble wrap, making sure that there is A LOT of protection/clearance around the motor pulley.
- double box whenever possible.
An additional tip that helped me alot for setup later. This has to be done before you move it but it made set up at the new spot less frustrating.
The TNT has a large footprint and the detachable legs make actual relocation of the legs difficult I found when it got moved around. Especially if one person was doing it.
Making a template of the legs and motor/flywheel made setting it up much easier.
If it rests on a light colored isolation platform like mine did you can trace the legs and motor with a crayon or something else that is easy to rub off. Or you can get a large sheet of thick paper the kind they use for krafts. Just prior to moving slide it under one area at a time. Trace again. When you remove it, cut out the holes for the legs and motor/flywheels. Put this template down on the new surface first and begin the assembly. When set up just cut the template out.
Seems you are taking all the right steps. I would carefully read and engage your carrier with a full discussion of the specific insurance that will cover all your items. Having the carrier pack everything, while expensive, is the way to go. It is very important that the shipping manifest detail each item and that each item be valued at new prices (including taxes and shipping.) The latter needs to be done before the carriers truck moves anything. This all needs to be done before anything is packed. It is not unusual for the insurance to cost $5K to $10K as it should be a separate policy that is written just for your move and its goods. I went through a similar move about ten years ago and it took me two years to get a settlement from the carriers insurance company. I had to pay a lawyer about $3K. The insurance carrier, not the mover carrier, is the one to investigate. I paid $7K for my insurance policy. The covered damages were $109K. Remember insurance companies have a policy of delay, deny, deceive. It is what they are all about.
When I moved across the country, I packed the platter, the motor assembly, and the turntable seperately.. I took the arm myself with the cartridge well protected, and travelled with it in the glove compartment of the car.
i have a vpi tnt jr and have moved it and would never move it without seperating the tonearm from the pivot as well as taking the platter/bearing off the table. I have always moved it myself. I did assemble a protective cover out of foam so that I can leave the benz glider cartridge on the tonearm. use alot of foam and protect everything that looks protectine four times, than go do everything that doesn't need protecting twice.
Yes to any or all of the above. I'm so nuts, I took all but the speakers and my stand with me in the car when I moved from coast to coast. If I had room for the speakers I would have taken those too.
I recently moved an Aries from its previous owner to its new home in my listening room. I have to echo Frogman's process which is the same as I used.
In addition, my suggestion is to remove the arm and transport it separately. I don't know what kind of stylus guard is used for that cart, but it might also be advisable to remove the cart from the arm and place it in its original packaging before packing everything away.
I think VPI can provide packaging for the TNT. Wouldn't hurt to call them to see what they can get you to help.
Don't forget to add bearing lube of your choice as you reassemble the table.
Ctlphd, You got a lot of good advice from those who would otherwise go ahead and let a moving company pack your turntable, tonearm, and cartridge. However, the whole idea is a nightmare for me, unless you are looking for a way to get rid of your gear and get full price back in return. I would consult VPI as to the best way to pack and ship your turntable per se. If you have the original carton and packing materials, I would probably start there, then double box it. Then your movers can take the carton from there. BUT I would never let a moving company touch any of my tonearms or cartridges, and as someone else said, I would carry them both with me during the move, if possible. (By the way, the Triplanar has a beautiful foam compartmentalized carton that is nearly fool proof once the arm has been properly inserted; certainly you should use that too.) It is unthinkable (for me) to hand over the intact ensemble (tt, tonearm, cartridge) to a bunch of the day laborers who typically work for moving companies. I am even surprised you can find a company that would take on the responsibility. I realize that if one is moving a very long distance or from country to country, the ideal solutions are not always possible, so good luck.
We show with Triplanar arms at shows a lot.
In all cases, the arm arrives at the show in its own shipping container. We install the arm on the 'table and the cartridge on the arm at the show. There is no other way to do it where you can be guaranteed of no damage. At a show if something is damaged it could ruin the show, insurance or not.
Fortunately the Triplanar is one of the easiest setups of any arm made. Its only held to the plinth by three screws, and if that part is already sorted out it really will not be that long before you are up and running fine.
Thanks for all the advice! I think I will use the 'Frogman method' for the table, and the more I think about it the more I realize I can't take any risk on the arm or cartridge. Therefore, as Atmasphere says "...There is no other way to do it where you can be guaranteed of no damage..." I will bite the bullet and take the tonearm and cartridge separately. I don't know if I can take them on the plane with me though...any thoughts? I guess I could ship them separately as well.
I don't know if I can take them on the plane with me though...any thoughts?
I took an ET2 tonearm on a plane with me about 5 years ago. They opened the box, looked at it, looked at me very suspiciously, and said, "what is it?" I told them what it was, they closed the box, and kindly gave it back to me to carry on.
I also carried an MC-225 (McIntosh tube amp) on a plane, also about 5 years ago. It was in a really shady looking cardboard box with duct tape ALL over it and they never even opened it. I guess it looked too low tech in the X-ray to even worry about!
Box it well, pad it, whatever you need to do to be sure it will get to the destination in one piece. Same with the cartridge. I wouldn't advise trying to get any of this thru security. They'll take one look at the arm and think it is a weapon. Insure it for replacement value and ship overnight so it doesn't have long time in transit. Regardless of the carrier, the longer they have it the more they will kick it around. I know since I was in traffic management for a long time. Take atmosphere's advice and set it up in your new home.
The Triplanar comes in a very nice shipping box, which you can safely run through baggage handling, or even ship UPS.
The Triplanar box should protect a mounted cartridge about as well as anything. Other than that I concur with Atmasphere, Lewm and any others who balked at the terrifying prospect of letting a moving company pack a high end vinyl rig. Good god...