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HK Audio Lucas Nano 300

January 30, 2014
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The Lucas Nano 300 ($699 street) is a small, extremely portable, and versatile three-channel P.A. system that includes two satellite speakers and a subwoofer. Directly out of the box, we loved the Lucas Nano’s intelligent and elegant design—as well as the way all the pieces easily snap together and morph into different configurations. HK obviously understands how much musicians love to read manuals, as onboard icons and brief instructions pretty much detail everything you need to know about setting up the system.

Connectivity is superb, as you’re provided varied input options. Channel 1 provides a mono Neutrik jack for mic or line signals, channel 2 serves up a stereo set of Neutrik connections, and channel 3 offers both a mini jack and stereo RCA inputs for smartphones and other playback gear. Who needs adapters when just about every cable you might require for audio is accommodated here? For output, ¼" jacks can connect to powered monitor speakers and/or the recording system of your choice.

The satellite speakers can be mounted directly onto the subwoofer module with no cabling needed. Want a wider stereo spread? HK Audio provides two microphone mount adaptors, so that you can attach each satellite to a mic stand and spread the units apart using ¼" speaker cables (not included). A third option for increasing setup configurations is to purchase HK’s Add-On Package One ($129 street), which gives you two mounting poles, a tripod stand, two speaker cables, Velcro cable ties, and a travel bag.

Once you plug instruments, microphones, and/or music players into the Lucas Nano, you’re rewarded with superbly pristine audio, with no evidence of hum, buzzes, or other anomalies (unless, of course, those gremlins are present in the source sounds). In different small venues, we used the Lucas Nano as a stereo playback system for pre-recorded music, as a P.A. for an acoustic guitar and vocal gig, and as a monitor for band rehearsals. The sound quality in all instances was excellent—clean, transparent, and full (as long as the subwoofer and satellite levels are balanced). Power output and signal dispersion were no problem in cafe-sized rooms. The Lucas Nano provides Tone and Sub controls that offer decent, but somewhat limited frequency shaping. During our tests, we did miss the “room tuning” capabilities offered by even a basic 3-band EQ and reverb.

Because we dug the Lucas Nano so much, we pushed our luck to see if the mini system could manage larger stage situations. We used the Nano as a keyboard amp/monitor in a ninepiece group, and while we could position the speakers around the musicians with ease, at 160 watts for the sub and 35 watts each for the satellites, the system just didn’t have the juice to be clearly audible over the band. We also had the idea of surrounding a rock drummer with the Lucas Nano to give her an awesome stereo monitor mix. It probably would have worked brilliantly for an acoustic band, but the system volume wasn’t loud enough to comfortably amplify a vocal mix over electric guitars, bass, and high-energy drumming.

Overall, we loved the Luca Nano. For small venues, it rules. It is smart, light, and easy to use. It is so versatile that it tackled largeband applications it wasn’t designed for, and almost delivered. But that’s not all! You can also use the Lucas Nano for video-game playback, home-theater sound, and backyard or poolside DJ gigs. And whatever you use it for, you’ll have a system that produces audio with stunning clarity and punch. hkaudio.com/lucasnano

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