I recently got instructions from Donna at SOTA regarding shipping a Sapphire. I wanted to post them here in case anyone else could use the info. SOTA TURNTABLE REPACKING INSTRUCTIONS Do not return your turntable to the factory without direct authorization from SOTA. Return Authorizations and the shipping address can be obtained by calling SOTA toll free at 800-772-SOTA or 608-538-3500. To serve your needs properly if a table is returned, we will require a Return Authorization, the product model and serial number, your name, telephone number and return address, along with a complete description of the problem. If you wish to transport your turntable, only the original packing should be used. A complete replacement packing set is available from your dealer or the SOTA factory for $68.00. Any turntable shipped incorrectly, or not in the original packing, WILL BE DONE SOLELY AT THE RISK OF THE SENDER. STEP 1 We strongly recommend that you remove the tonearm and mounting board assembly. NEVER ship a tonearm on the turntable when returning it to SOTA for upgrade or repair. Remove the lead shot from the arm well and repack it in a plastic bag if you will be using the same tonearm. If installing a new tonearm, retain the unused lead shot so that the turntable may be re-leveled easily when the new tonearm is installed. Remove the lead slugs (if installed). STEP 2 If your turntable has a wood control panel cover, remove and set aside. If your turntable has a metal control cover, un-screw the four securing screws with the hex key provided with the table originally. Remove and set aside the drive belt. Place the cardboard shim around and below the motor pulley so that it is fixed firmly. DO NOT FORCE. Place the three white foam pieces (approx. 1” x 2”) equi-distant around the platter against the inside edge of the top. Now replace the belt and control cover (metal covers only, wood control covers must be packed separately). STEP 3 Place the turntable on the front edges of two chairs that are facing each other, about 15” apart. From below, reset (screw in) the transit screws (See Figure 1) using the 3/32” Hex Key (provided with the table originally), so that the platter bearing is protected and the platter cannot spin. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN. Now tighten the transit screw locking nuts firmly. Remove the three rubber feet and place two square pieces of foam (approx. 2”x2” with a hole in the middle) on each foot post. Replace and tighten the feet firmly against the foam pieces, so that the foam is pressed tightly between the top of the rubber feet and the bottom of sub-assembly, preventing the suspension from moving. STEP 4 Remove the dust cover. Do not ship the dust cover when sending the turntable to SOTA for repair or upgrades. If you must ship the turntable with the dust cover, place the foam pieces (approx. 1” x 2” with slit down middle) provided for this purpose on each side’s bottom edge of the dust cover. Place the dust cover on the turntable and place the provided plastic bag around the turntable (and dust cover if included) and tape both firmly together. Tape both front to back and side to side. (If the dust cover is not firmly attached it will bounce on the cabinet and damage the finish). Use bags to avoid getting tape on the dust cover or turntable cabinet. STEP 5 Carefully place the turntable upside down (face down on the dust cover – or the spindle if no dust cover) on a soft work surface. Position the three wooden circles over the holes on the sub-assembly (the holes with the T – nut threads showing) where the three packing bolts will pass through. Place the plywood packing board on the bagged turntable with wood circles in place so that the center hole and the holes for the feet and the packing bolts will be correctly positioned. (Some experimentation may be required to find the correct orientation of the board). Insert each of the three packing bolts with washers in place through the holes in the plywood board, through the wood circle, through the bag and into the T–nut in the sub-assembly. Tighten each securely so that the turntable is firmly secured to the plywood board (See Figure 2). STEP 6 Fold the cardboard sleeve around the plywood, being sure to seat the plywood into the groove provided, and tape the sleeve firmly closed. Lay the packed turntable down with the plywood board facing up. Now slip the shipping carton down over the cardboard sleeve. Carefully turn the carton with turntable/sleeve assembly over, and put the 24”x20” cardboard pad over the turntable/sleeve assembly. Seal the carton securely with tape. STEP 7 Ship via UPS or your preferred carrier. The packed unit weighs about 50 pounds (pump/power supply units weigh 16 pounds) and must be sent freight prepaid with Return Authorization Number on the shipping label if being returned to the factory for upgrade, update or repair. Be sure to insure the package(s) at your replacement cost. IMPORTANT: Incorrect packing can produce major problems. SOTA will not be responsible for shipments not packed according to factory specifications or for transit abuse during shipment. All factory repair/update/upgrade units will be returned via UPS ground. If desired, the customer may pay the additional charges for airfreight service.