San Rafael company’s hemp speakers helping rockers create smoking-hot music

By Paul Liberatore
Marin Independent Journal

John Harrison stands in his office San Rafael. His company, Tone Tubby, makes speakers with cones made of  hemp instead of the usual paper. (IJ photo/Frankie Frost)

WHEN YOU THINK of marijuana and rock ‘n’ roll, chances are your head may fill with images of pot smoke in backstage dressing rooms or clouds of pungent sinsemilla rising from the crowd at a Grateful Dead concert.
But now, processed as hemp, good old grass has another new, inventive and legal use in rock music.
A San Rafael company is marketing an ingenious new speaker, called a Tone Tubby, featuring cones made of hemp — as a substitute for paper — for guitar and bass amplifiers.
The cones are the vibrating part of a speaker, and Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, Jimmy Herring, Los Lonely Boys, ZZ Top and Warren Haynes are among the rock stars who
In a testimonial, R.E.M.’s Pete Buck says they’ve given him “the coolest, most authentic early ’60s garage band tone. I’m definitely a convert.”
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