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Moving to Europe
Old 20th March 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
ac_music's Avatar
 

Moving to Europe

Just kidding, I’m moving to Europe from the US. I want to bring everything with me including my car and studio equipment. I have a lot of gear to move and an iMac which is my main studio computer and needs to arrive in one piece.

Any of you have experience moving stuff like this overseas and can offer some tips?
Old 20th March 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
drxcm's Avatar
 

Get a moving company to do it. It will be costly but easy.
Old 20th March 2019
  #3
Ive shipped imacs and pcs with little difficulty. Ive shipped fine china, paintings, and very expensive rugs with no difficulty or damage but guitars and synth modules and drum machines have travelled with me...never tried full keyboards.

I used a company called seven seas, twice, UK -US and they were great and not too expensive (you pack yourself they provide the resources/materials), they have US offices and go worldwide...dunno anything about shipping a car but Id touch base with these guys as a start
Old 20th March 2019
  #4
Fly with your computer... everything else, ship it. It will take weeks to arrive.

FWIW, I’ve lived several different times in London, and may be back there for a run again at some point. I’ve just bought a number of things that I leave there with friends... 2 basses, a nylon guitar, 2 digital pianos and a keyboard, KRK monitors, Avantone mix cube, a collection of cables, pedals, etc.

Much less expensive to buy things along the way rather than ship everything. If you think you’re ever coming back to work—either temporarily or permanently—consider leaving some stuff here. Or selling and rebuying updated stuff. Shipping is not cheap.

Good luck.
Old 20th March 2019
  #5
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A.I. Batule Chee's Avatar
The main issue you will find is that they have different voltage there, and depending where are you moving, different outlets. Recently most electronics work with 240V without the need of an adapter, but older technology won't.
Old 20th March 2019
  #6
Gear Nut
Europe uses between 220V and 240V grid voltage and a frequency of 50Hz instead of 110V/60Hz (US standard). The frequency difference can be ignored. I used to import stuff from the US and Japan (Japan=100V/60Hz) and use 240V->100V step-down transformers. The 100V are a bit harder to get but will work with japanese and US equipment. In your case 240V->110V would work.

I don't want to recommend a manufacturer but I bought 1x 500W, 1x 1500W and 1x 2000W transformer like this one: Spannungswandler 220V-100V 3000W fur Japan: Amazon.de: Amazon.de

Be careful, these big and relatively cheap devices contain a simple single-coil transformer which means you need to make sure how to plug your power plug into the wall - dependent on the country. Where in Europe are you heading to?
Old 20th March 2019
  #7
Gear Nut
one more thing: you can import things duty-free if they are >6months in your possession. this works in both directions. US classic cars (Ford Mustang), Harleys and synthesizer can be sold with profit in Europe.
Old 20th March 2019
  #8
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octatonic's Avatar
I've done 7 international moves all up- the last one was from the UK to Singapore.
Use a shipping company- they will package it for export and do all the necessary paperwork.

110v only gear is a pain in the ass- often when going the way you will be able to take a 110v tap off a 230v power supply.
I've almost never been able to do it the other way around.
Old 20th March 2019
  #9
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A.I. Batule Chee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tteich View Post
one more thing: you can import things duty-free if they are >6months in your possession. this works in both directions. US classic cars (Ford Mustang), Harleys and synthesizer can be sold with profit in Europe.
Also, take on account that Gas (fuel) is much more expensive in Europe than in the US, so taking a V8 car with you might turn into an unexpected money leak. Plus, some countries tax cars depending on cylinder count, so watch out for those kind of expenses.
Old 20th March 2019
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Unless you're a diplomat or have all expenses covered in a fancy expat deal, or if it's a rare old timer and you already have a good deal selling it, shipping the car can be very expensive. Leave alone the hassle and expenses of getting it registered and running. Depending on where in the USA you're leaving from (east coast / west coast) and to which port in Europe you're shipping, you could consider a RORO for the car, which apparently is cheaper than container space. But then I don't think they will allow you to stuff the car with valuable synths and computers, so you will need additional container space for that. Again, depending on model and build year, you're easily looking at a couple of thousand euro's after shipping just to get the car registered and running (handling, import duty, vat, often you need technical modifications). I once saw a breakdown of the cost of shipping and importing a truck and I remember the total amount was well in the area of a fairly acceptable second hand family car here.
Old 20th March 2019
  #11
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ac_music View Post
Any of you have experience moving stuff like this overseas and can offer some tips?
You want a professional moving company, especially if you've got a lot of stuff. I relocated from the United States to Germany with a ton of gear including some very large synths like an OB-Xa and Prophet-10. I'm not sure any of it (including me) would have survived the move without professionals. Then there's also all the paperwork to consider (which is no small matter in countries like Germany).

You might also want to replace any gear that isn't easily useable with European voltages to avoid having to use transformers (especially if the move will be permanent). I'm still using a couple of transformers for a few vintages pieces I wanted to keep, but otherwise I've replaced most everything that didn't have the ability to switch voltages.

You should also look into how long is the window to import personal items without customs tax. For example, in Germany, I had three years to get all of my stuff over here without having to pay customs tax. So if paying a moving company to move everything over in one go is too expensive, maybe you can put some things in storage or ask family or friends to hold onto to them for you until you can afford to have them shipped.

As for my car, I sold that to my younger brother (along with my DX-7 ). There's no way I would bring a car over here unless it was vintage or something. Too much hassle. I recommend selling it and buying a new one after you arrive.

In the end, the only instrument that didn't make it over was my Steinway grand. For that, I would have needed a specialized shipping company which was very expensive. So I left it with my parents and bought another grand piano once I was settled. At least I still get to play it whenever I visit.

And they're not allowed to sell it! It's still mine!
Old 20th March 2019
  #12
Gear Head
 
interruptor's Avatar
 

Get rid of the car and don't buy another one.
Old 20th March 2019
  #13
Deleted 8ce28dc
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever17 View Post
i'm probably getting deported from the EU for being a brit...
just give that doddery old juncker fellow a bottle of plonk and i'm sure he will look the other way, those at the EU love bribes.
Old 20th March 2019
  #14
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
I personally would only take things that are rare and hard to replace. I’d use it as an opportunity to start fresh. I’d especially develop some new trait or habit that seems cool.
Old 20th March 2019
  #15
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I’d use it as an opportunity to start fresh. I’d especially develop some new trait or habit that seems cool.
Yes! If you're moving to France, you should start wearing a beret. And by all means, don't forget the baguettes!



If you're moving to Germany, lederhosen is the way to go. And please don't forget the bierstein. You won't get far without one!

Old 20th March 2019
  #16
Here for the gear
I moved from the UK to Canada 2 years ago and here's how it worked for me.
I divided my gear into 3 piles:
A small amount of rugged low-weight fun stuff I could carry with me in a suitcase (Octatrack, A4, TT-303, JU-06). This at least gave me something to play while waiting for the other stuff to be shipped.
The second pile was the klobber that's with me forever - Juno 6, MC-202, EX-8000, EDP Wasp, Prophet 2002, Multi-trak, Matrix 6, 33u Euro etc. This stuff I packed well before I left and let a professional shipping company handle on my behalf. Money well spent as it arrived with no damage although clearing customs took many weeks.
I bought a bunch of step-up transformers for the 220v gear and have had no issues apart from the EX-8000 which seems to run a little hot and the Prophet 2002 which blew a couple of resistors in the PSU when I switched its voltage from 220 to 110 for the first time - easy fix.

The third pile was all the accumulated musical junk of a lifetime which I sold cheap just to be shot of it - no regrets and a great way of generating a little extra cash to spend on Kijiji / Craigslist when I arrived.
As for cars, forget it unless you're running a '67 Firebird or something - it's just not worth the expense and trouble.
Old 20th March 2019
  #17
My gear has moved a lot, across several continents and oceans. Don't worry about 220v since those power converters are easy to come by.

First off, to and from the USA ... avoid USPS. I sent a bunch of packages by them recently from Colorado to Maui and it took 5 weeks. All the packages were lost in tracking for weeks at a time. The gear was sent on different days so it was no fluke.

Most of my gear went by Fedex, it costs more but its worth it. Take what you can on the plane.

Moving company? They use the standard shipping companies anyways when I googled it a few months ago. Didn't appeal to me ymmv.
Old 20th March 2019
  #18
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
Yes! If you're moving to France, you should start wearing a beret. And by all means, don't forget the baguettes!



If you're moving to Germany, lederhosen is the way to go. And please don't forget the bierstein. You won't get far without one!

See, I was thinking the opposite tactic. I’d wear a cowboy hat and boots and drive a huge SUV. My nickname would be Slim.
Old 20th March 2019
  #19
Lives for gear
 

If you have money to burn, I suggest a moving company.

If you need to save money, I would sell everything that is easily replaceable.

I’m assuming like most people you’ve moved on several occasions in the past, my own experiences suggest that I will pack up a lot of **** i don’t need, and trouble with moving it to the next destination, and I will live in the next house for 10 years and still never have opened those boxes. Moving overseas is a GREAT excuse to clear out crap you don’t need. Most gear is very replaceable. Cars? I wouldn’t even think about taking with me.
Old 20th March 2019
  #20
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donato's Avatar
I agree to sell everything unless it’s really special. Ditto for the car.
Old 20th March 2019
  #21
Lives for gear
Sell your computer and buy a new one. Make an image of your harddrive and several plain backups.

Post once lost an iMac.
Old 20th March 2019
  #22
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spaceman's Avatar
 

Yes I've done it a long time ago ( so long ago I can't remember the logistical details in detail )
I agree with all the advice given here.
I would add : use a specialist company, and expect the people who will be handling your stuff to be brutes with no consideration whatsoever to whatever big bold "ATTENTION ! FRAGILE !" red stickers you've put on your stuff. Therefore make sure you protect them the best you can, using the most solid cases you can afford ( I had a bunch of SKB cases that served me well at the time ).
If you can, sell most of your modern stuff and buy fresh. Keep the vintage ones if you have any. Sell your iMac if you can and buy another Mac there.

Forget about the car. Sell it and buy something else there. Plus, unlike the US, most european cities are quite compact and dense and you can easily get around by walking distances and/or public transportation. You will probably won't feel the need to use your car as much as in the US.
Old 24th March 2019
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 8ce28dc View Post
just give that doddery old juncker fellow a bottle of plonk and i'm sure he will look the other way, those at the EU love bribes.
yes but this is total b*ll*x because you know full well that the british establishment do corruption better than everyone else.

doddery old gits with gout all over the UK. always have been.
Old 24th March 2019
  #24
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

just sell the stuff and buy replacements when you get there
Old 9th June 2019
  #25
Gear Nut
 
tzarv's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drxcm View Post
Get a moving company to do it. It will be costly but easy.
I bit off topic, sorry, where can I get a high resolution image of your avatar? Thank you very much. God bless and have a good day.
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