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Mini review: HK Audio Lucas Nano 300 and Lucas Nano 600

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  • Mini review: HK Audio Lucas Nano 300 and Lucas Nano 600

    Hello all!

    So I managed to get down to a music store and try out both the HK Lucas Nano 300 and the HK Lucas Nano 600 on a TD-15 kit. Big shout out to the guys at Guitar Factory Parramatta for being awesome and setting them up for me to have a bash with.

    First things first, the official specs:

    300: http://hkaudio.us/products.php?id=376
    600: http://hkaudio.us/products.php?id=414

    I'm not really sure why they are called the 300 and the 600, given the 300 is 230W and the 600 is 460W...

    We can all see what they are on paper, so I guess the more important questions are how do they sound? I'm pleased to report that both the 300 and 600 sound remarkably good. The subs create a really good kick for the bass drums and toms, and the satellites handle the highs of the snares and cymbals also very well. The sound clarity with both of them was excellent. I didn't feel as though there were mids missing at all. Hitting the kick drum on both units sent a shudder around the entire shop, causing all of the acoustic snares to rattle and the metallic shelves to vibrate. Both units also have a tone control knob, that actually did make a difference to the way the drums sounded. I'm not sure how useful overall it would be for the purposes of edrumming, but it was a nice feature nonetheless.

    It should be noted that I only tested them with the satellites in stereo mode, mounted on poles. I did not test in mono mode. I also only tested them in the shop, connected to an edrum kit, and not in the context of an actual band practice.

    When they were first hooked up, the subs and satellites were turned up to about half volume, and at this setting they produced a very nice amount of decibels. This seemed like a good sign - after all I play in an alternative rock band and the guitarists love cranking their amps up, so I needed something that could compete with them at practice. I turned the volume up further, but disappointingly, this didn't make much of a difference on the satellites. On both units, between the halfway setting and full, there seemed to be very little difference in volume, which seemed odd. Cranking the subs up to full had a much more noticeable effect however, and you could feel the air whoosh out as the kick was hit.

    However, even at max, neither unit produced what I would call a satisfactory level of volume for me. The way the satellites were positioned, they were facing almost directly at me at head level, and the subs were next to me on the floor. At max volume, being that close to the speakers, my ears should have been blasted, but they most definitely were not. They were still surprisingly loud given their sizes...don't get me wrong. But from the way the products were being marketed, I expected more. The subs also are not angled to point upwards at all, so I tried propping them up a bit so they pointed more at my head to see if that made a difference, but it didn't do a lot. Both the 300 and 600 have a green light on them near the power button, that flashes red whenever the built-in level limiter kicks in, and throughout my testing, this light was flashing red pretty regularly on both units when I was hitting the kick or lower toms, which means I was constantly peaking the systems without too much effort.

    The 600 surprisingly was not that much louder than the 300, despite having twice the overall wattage, a larger sub and larger satellites. It was most definitely louder of course, but not to the degree to justify the price difference between the two in my opinion (the 600 is almost double the price of the 300). The 600 was also obviously bulkier and heavier than the 300, which was expected, but that does make it slightly less portable.

    Overall, both of these systems sit in a kind of weird position. Both of them are probably overkill for your own personal home practice...I doubt anyone needs units quite this loud (or as expensive) when you are playing by yourself at home. But on the other side of the coin, they don't quite have the necessary volume to use in band practice situations.

    I would recommend these systems for your own personal monitoring and practice, or for using as part of smaller solos or duets. The sound quality is most definitely excellent - there is no issue with that aspect at all. They get the job done as edrum amplifiers, just don't expect them to cut through and compete with guitars and bass during rehearsals. I didn't road test them during an actual band practice...this is true...but I'm pretty confident they wouldn't have cut the mustard. They might be okay as stage monitors so you can hear yourself in some situations, but if you're playing in a band I probably wouldn't recommend using them to point out towards the audience at all.

    I'm also not convinced the 600 is worth the extra investment over the 300. For the price of the 600 you could almost buy two 300's, and link them together which would produce a better, more distributed sound. For volume purposes, a 15" powered speaker would probably do a better job, although obviously wouldn't have a dedicated sub or stereo setup without spending extra.

    So, in conclusion, both the 300 and 600 produce excellent quality sound for edrums, but both units are also lacking in the volume department. Depending on what you want to use them for, they may suit your needs, but for me, they fell just a little short.
    Last edited by White_Pointer; 10-18-14, 01:22 AM.

  • #2
    Thanks for the review.

    It does confirm a bit of what we read on paper, but it's nice to have a hands on report.
    DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
    Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

    My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com


    • #3
      Thanks White_Pointer, all write ups like this are invaluable for everybody.

      Personally, it feels good knowing that I bought a 2.1 studio monitor system for the home, and didn't try to fudge getting a system that tries to do everything under the sun. - No matter how they want to market it. The conclusion I got from this review then, is this: Always buy for the purpose your intending to use them as.

      The Lucas Nano 300 / 600 is overkill for a home system, but not enough for rock gigs / large halls. But it's a perfect rugged 2.1 for closer street performances with smaller percussion / acoustic guitars.
      ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ 2box DrumIt 5 MKII
      ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
      PA Comparison Sheet


      • #4
        Thanks for the review, some great points there. It does sound like you were expecting the speakers to take an ekit up to the volume level of an acoustic kit, especially with the "cut through and compete with the guitars and bass" comments. PA simply doesn't work like that, the type of sound waves that an acoustic drumkit produces are different to the type of soundwaves that reproduction speakers produce. Using something like the Nano systems, you need to adjust the rest of the band too - the systems are made to deliver quality, not volume - so if the drums "won't cut through the guitars", then the guitars are simply too loud!

        If you're looking for outright acoustic kit volume from a PA then you need (IMO) at least 1200w of power driving at least 2x15" subs and matching tops. Look at it this way - the average acoustic bass drum is essentially a 20", 22" or 24" speaker diaphragm! The Nano system is not designed to produce that. It's not sized like it and it's not priced like it.