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As sturdy as many guitar and bass amplifiers are, many of them—especially tube amps—house fairly delicate electronics, and care must therefore be taken when transporting them.

What with all the bumps, potholes and other potential hazards in the road, the question occasionally arises: What’s the best position to transport an amplifier in? Here are a couple of dos and don’ts worth knowing about for moving your rig from gig to gig.

  • Transport the amp upright. When lugging it around town, that’s the best position to keep it the safest, just like when it’s in use. Amp heads are especially easy to transport in their normal upright position. If you can manage that, great, and happy motoring.

  • Set it on a blanket, foam or rug to provide extra cushioning from the unrelenting metal van floor or bouncing trunk that can shake valves loose. Over the years, even microscopic vibrations can accumulate into bigger problems.

  • Lock it in. You don’t want your gear sliding around your vehicle where it could crash into something that knocks it out of whack. You could use a seatbelt or a bungee cord to make it stay put.

  • Transport it face up. For combo amps and speaker enclosures, if you are unable to load them in upright, the best way to place them is face down. If you drive these things around face up, every last bump and dip and pothole in the road puts downward pressure on all the speaker parts, especially the magnets. Transporting your combo or cabinet face down, on the other hand, minimizes these effects and can contribute to longer and healthier amp life.

  • Leave it uncovered. Purchase a cover or a hard case to ensure that your amp remains smudge- and dust-free.

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