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Roland CM-220 vs HK Audio Lucas Nano 300

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  • Roland CM-220 vs HK Audio Lucas Nano 300

    So since neither of these amps are mentioned in the Once and for All thread, I figured I'd post a new topic.

    I'm looking for a powerful amp/monitoring system to use on stage with my TD-9 (gigs in small venues) and during rehearsals with my alternative rock band. I don't have the budget to spend thousands on this, but I still want a decent sound and get decent volume to be able to compete with the guitars. To be used primarily as a monitor system to hear myself but will likely also be positioned so the band can hear me.

    Does anyone have any experience with either of these two systems? I know they are both fairly new, but you never know your luck.

    - Both systems are pretty similar, and sell for around the same price (Nano 300 is a little more expensive).
    - The Nano 300 is way more portable and much smaller
    - The Nano 500 pushes 300W total (160W for the sub, 70W for each satellite)
    - The CM-220 pushes 200W total (100W for the sub, 50W for each satellite)
    - The CM-220's sub speaker is bigger (10 inches, compared to the Nano 300's 8 inches)
    - A bit difficult to determine which has the larger Satellite speakers, as I can't tell if HK Audio list their sizes as combined or separate. CM-220 has a combined 4 inches (2 inches each). Nano 300 is listed as 3.5 inches. If that is combined, then the CM-220's are larger. If it's separate, then the Nano 300's are larger.

    Roland CM-220: http://www.rolandcorp.com.au/product...px?p=1201&c=67
    HK Audio Lucas Nano 300: http://hkaudio.us/products.php?id=376

    Firstly, are *EITHER* of these actually a good option for what I want to do, or are they not designed for this purpose?
    Secondly, if the answer to the first question is yes, what's the consensus as to which is the better amp?
    Last edited by White_Pointer; 11-28-13, 06:46 AM.

  • #2
    I heard the Nano-300's precursor at a trade-show demonstration for the Pearl E-Pro Live and can confirm that it sounded loud enough to blow away the 50 or so attendees! A good 'Thump' in the low-end too, thanks to the dedicated subwoofer.

    Also I have experienced the smaller Roland CM-30 - wrote a review for it - and can attest a mighty fine sound, that's plenty loud enough for home use. Two of these can match the power of an acoustic drumkit, sadly I could never really test it on a maxed-out e-drum module. I reckon the CM-30's 6.5" woofer might be just a little bit too weak for this, without the aid of a sub. That's of course we're the bigger CM-220 ought to shine - a package similar to two CM-30's ...with a dedicated sub!


    My choice? Tough one!

    But given that...

    1. all the advertising material seems to market the CM-220 for more domestic use
    2. the Nano-300 is more rugged, and is advertised as a professional product, a full PA that was shrinked in size

    ...I strongly tend to prefer the latter! (HK Nano 300)



    Hope this helps you a wee bit!

    ....


    "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

    http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, at the moment I'm leaning more towards the HK Nano, but it's difficult to judge them based on their specs as I haven't heard vdrums run through either of them. The one thing I'm a little wary of with the Nano 300, is that it's only got an 8 inch sub, and the CM-220 has a 10 incher. While it's true that the Nano can produce louder volumes (being 160W vs 100W), I'm a little worried that due to the size of it, I'm not going to be able to genuinely feel the kick drum.

      That's the only thing I'm a little iffy about.

      While they aren't thousands of dollars like you could easily spend on high end equipment, these two systems still hit the wallet reasonably hard even though they are more towards the budget end of things, and I don't want to regret my purchase should I choose one or the other.

      My other problem of course is that there are NO stores in Australia (certainly none in Sydney) that I've found that actually stock BOTH of these products, so I can actually hook them up to a kit in store and compare them side by side. I've found stores that stock the CM-220, and stores that stock the Nano 300, but no stores that actually stock both of them.
      Last edited by White_Pointer; 11-28-13, 05:04 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have the Nano 300 and I can recommend it. It's surprisingly loud for its size and the 8" sub has plenty of thump. As long as you're rehearsing at reasonable volumes it should work great.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm also wondering...

          What's the advantage of using a system like either one of these, in comparison to simply using a powered speaker? I could get a 600W powered speaker for half the price these systems are going for, which will give me much more volume. It would lack an inbuilt subwoofer though, but I could throw in say a separate 300W sub and still come in a couple of hundred bucks under the price both of these are asking.

          Comment


          • #6
            Best thing about the HK Nano: The 8" subwoofer is only 8kg in weight! This is really awesome! Certainly so for my sorely afflicted body...
            My back is just does a dance of joy!


            This link from Thomann gives a better overview over the Nanno's sizes - separatly, for both components!

            http://www.thomann.de/gb/hk_audio_lucas_nano_300.htm




            HTH


            "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

            http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by White_Pointer View Post
              I'm also wondering...

              What's the advantage of using a system like either one of these, in comparison to simply using a powered speaker? I could get a 600W powered speaker for half the price these systems are going for, which will give me much more volume. It would lack an inbuilt subwoofer though, but I could throw in say a separate 300W sub and still come in a couple of hundred bucks under the price both of these are asking.

              I'll give it a shot:


              1. Quality
              While you could get a powered 15" speaker indeed, you haven't said which make and model, nor what quality-level they are.
              Your low-budget 'Ear-ringer' speakers need not apply! At least the HK Nano have a high quality of construction, on par with the bigger HK PA's.

              2. Novelty
              You pay for versatility in setup:

              The satelites can be stacked on the sub - without cabling - for a simple monaural music-system (think BBQ-evenings or a quick background-sound at a family celebration),
              can be used on poles (monaural) if you ever have a presentation or a speech,
              on poles again but stereo (the classic band-PA application for weddings or small pubs),
              you can double-up, to form a bigger PA-system, two satelites on each side, used in mono-mode
              on your desk or even wall-mounted.


              Also, you have a small 3-channel mixer built-in, a smaller footprint than a powered 15", and you can store the satelites inside the sub for easy, lightweight transport.


              3. Perception of your ears
              What's the beauty of a 2.1 satelite-system? You only have one subwoofer!
              But I know what you are thinking: "If I get two 15-inchers, I will have more bass!" Not necessarily!

              Let me try to explain this:
              The human ear is constructed in a way that localization where sound is coming from (...or "precise evaluation of the input direction") is nearly impossible for frequencies below 800 Hz (more or less). It gets even worse below 90 Hz, where it is impossible to determine a sound's lateral source.

              This means: You cannot judge whether the bassdrum is coming from the left or from the right, even if you can see the subwoofer with your eyes.

              In addition, the lower frequencies get, the more non-directional their polar-pattern will become. Subwoofer-lows are actually emitted in an omni-directional pattern. This means, they are spread equally to each side! (There are very expensive, highly professional subwoofers, that work with a directional, cardioid-pattern, but I digress...)

              Imagine a stage with two subwoofers: One on each side (To the left and to the right).
              Next, imagine the same stage, but the two subs centered, clustered together in the middle, in front of the stage.
              Whether the subs are moved a few inches (more or less) to the side, is not that relevant to low-frequency spread or perception.

              I may have to add a graphical stage-representation, to make this clearer, if you wish.



              What does this mean for the Nano 300 (and your decision)?
              If you simply want MORE BASS, it's not so much the amount of subs, but the amount of watts!
              In that regard, two powered speakers don't offer much by having two low-frequency speakers, BUT a one-sub satellite-system has the advantage of being alot more compact, with alot less weight!


              Note that I'm not a Prof, but I hope nonetheless that I could shed some light to the choice of CM-220/Nano 300 VS. powered 15" monitor-speaker!


              HTH




              I


              "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

              http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

              Comment


              • #8
                See I read a review of the Nano 300 like this one: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb1...audio-nano.htm and it just makes me more iffy about it than anything. Quotes like "While almost certainly too small for typical band applications involving a drummer," "I wouldn't recommend the system for studio monitoring, as it is designed to sound impressive rather than accurate" "My own view is that if you want a system only for gigging, you might be able to find better alternatives for the money," have made me really question whether it will be any good to use during our rehearsals or as a stage monitor during gigs. We play alternative rock and we turn it up loud, and in that respect, I'm really worried that I'd be dropping a lot of money and this and it *still* not being loud enough.

                I'm also a bit confused with the review in digital drummer here: http://www.jhs.co.uk/reviews/HKNANO300DRUMMER0812.pdf - yes it's generally positive, but says "Exceptional value for money" and also "Not at this price!". Well, which is it? Is it good value or isn't it?

                I really wish I could actually go to a store and test these two products out side by side with an ekit, but that's impossible for me to do at least in Sydney. I can only really go with what I read online, and to be honest, what I'm reading has not filled me with confidence about either of these systems being adequate for what I need.
                Last edited by White_Pointer; 12-02-13, 12:13 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, the Nano certainly isn't a studio-monitor! A studio-monitors best quality (at least for a good one) is to be as neutral as possible - a typical PA speaker like the Nano, is miles away from this, because it is tailored to be loud, pleasant, and boosting it in the bass- and high-frequencies, akin to a HiFi speaker! So the soundonsound review is accurate in this regard.

                  "If you want a system for gigging...." : This depends a lot on the volume you intend to use at a gig! That the Nano or CM-220 won't be useful at a Trash Metal gig should be pretty obvious! Its application was more that of a One-Man-Band keyboard-player doing 'Country Roads' at a low-volume wedding-/birthday party-event.

                  "Value-for-money": Before I can give an answer here, I have to read through that dD review first. But I will come back at you on this!

                  Generally speaking: Have you ever tried to stack a 'normal-sized' PA inside each other?
                  Have you tried asking around at Rental-companies or other musicians, that may own either a CM-220 or Nano-300?

                  This way you could give them at least a listening test!


                  HTH
                  Last edited by hairmetal-81; 12-02-13, 12:56 AM.


                  "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                  http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hairmetal-81 View Post
                    "If you want a system for gigging...." : This depends a lot on the volume you intend to use at a gig! That the Nano or CM-220 won't be useful at a Trash Metal gig should be pretty obvious! Its application was more that of a One-Man-Band keyboard-player doing 'Country Roads' at a low-volume wedding-/birthday party-event.
                    See and this is exactly the part that's making me hesitate. We're alternative rock. We're loud. No, we aren't thrash metal, but if you've ever been to a rock concert, that's about the level we're talking. If the Nano is only supposed to be loud enough for a keyboard playing one man band, or low-volume weddings, then it's going to be nowhere near loud enough for use on stage for me. Not even close.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I can clearly understand why you are hesitant! At present, unfortunately I can not present you with any decibel-figures that would clear things a little bit, maybe.

                      But let me point out the following: The Nano-300 is just a part (the smallest part, actually) of a whole series of speaker-systems. You may have figured this out yourself already!

                      All of them feature active electronics, two high-frequency speaker-tops, and one subwoofer - the 'two up, one down' variety. The biggest one of these systems has a beefy, thunderous 18-inch sub, coupled with two 12" tops!


                      Since you aren't a 'Home-Drummer only', but looking at a monitoring-solution for 'Live', I am a little bit puzzled, why you are considering - for a progressive rock-band - such 'small-ish' systems like the CM-220 and Nano? Who was recommending these to you?


                      HTH
                      Last edited by hairmetal-81; 12-02-13, 07:41 AM.


                      "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                      http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        An addendum to my post above!

                        "If one can read, he has a clear advantage!" - I just read through the review you provided! That HK-Audio will offer rack-clamps to attach the satellites to the rack is clearly showing this is targeted towards e-drum monitoring, too! Though from the text it sounds like reviewers haven't tested this under Live-circumstances, only home-practice perhaps.


                        Also, now I think I'm able to shed light to this: "Exceptional value for money" and also "Not at this price!". Well, which is it? Is it good value or isn't it?

                        To answer this: It is good value ("Exceptional value for money")!

                        The other part ("Not at this price!") was targeted towards 'Does the PA have any negative points?'. To word it differently: "The product does not have any flaws at this price!" This sounds clearer!


                        And , out of nowhere I've managed to find some actual db-figures!
                        All level-measurements are indicated at a distance of 1 meter, that's about 39,5 inches, if you aren't one of the metric weirdos (tm) like I am one!

                        Since you intend to use the Nano's as a monitor very close to you (maybe even attaching the satellites to the MDS-9 rack), that is actually a very practical circumstance!


                        The Subwoofer's maximum output at 1m distance is 116 db.
                        The satellites maximum output, again at 1m, is 112 db.


                        You may have to push the Nano a little towards the maximum, but if the review is anything to go by, you don't have to worry much about distortion ("I managed to get the kit and the PA up to almost full before there was any hint of distortion, mainly from the satellite speakers.")



                        HTH


                        "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                        http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Having played in live band situations for 20+ years, both practice and on stage, I am doubting that an 8" sub and satellites will cut it for anything more than a personal monitor or possibly some stage volume, which is what you want. However, it really all boils down to how loud the other members of the band are, doesn't it? If all the guitar players have large amps and play at 11 all the time, this isn't going to cut it most likely. It the guys are reasonable, and everyone sets their stage volume to what this speaker system will handle, then you might be ok. But if anyone decides they can't hear themselves and the others all start turning up, you could have issues. Especially, if they like to play loud like you said.

                          Drums need a lot of low end, so you and the bass player can lock in, and I don't see any 8" sub being able to hang with a decent bass rig that has a 15" or handful of 10"s. The bottom line is that for low end it has to be able to move some air, so I would look at larger setups, maybe something with an 18" sub, and a couple of 12" or 15" mains that could act as sidefill for you and the band. Maybe something like the JBL Eon powered sub plus powered mains? Just my opinion.

                          J
                          Edrums- KD-120, PD-125 (3), PD-105 (3), Yamaha PCY155, PCY-135 (4)
                          Module - Roland TD20X
                          Software - Pro Tools and Toontrack Superior

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hairmetal-81 View Post
                            Since you aren't a 'Home-Drummer only', but looking at a monitoring-solution for 'Live', I am a little bit puzzled, why you are considering - for a progressive rock-band - such 'small-ish' systems like the CM-220 and Nano? Who was recommending these to you?
                            The main reason I'm looking at these, as I stated in my original post, is price. I don't have the budget to buy a super high end system, so I'm looking for a system that will give me the best bang for my buck. I do however need a system that can compete with the guitars and bass when they crank up their stacks during rehearsals, and something that's loud enough to be a stage monitor when playing live.

                            Nobody recommended them to me, I just came across both of them while I was researching my options.

                            I'm really depressed at the price of these monitor solutions for edrums. It seems guiarists and bassists have a much easier time finding good amplifiers at reasonable prices (especially in the used market) but edrummers are kind of left in the lurch.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There are still some nice monitoring-solutions for edrummers in the used market, too!
                              The mackie SRM's and JBL's....HK-Audio did PA's before (under their - still used for guitar-equipment - initial name 'Hughes & Kettner'). Their 'Lucas' systems have been around for ages, and there should be a fair amount of used systems to be had. The original, greatgrand 'Lucas' dates back to 1997! They established and popularized the three-piece PA-format, and basically set the standard of how an active, compact satellite-system should look like!


                              What I could offer you is an adress of HK Audio's Australian distribution:
                              CMI Music & Audio Pty / Ltd
                              36-38 Export Drive
                              3025 Brooklyn, Victoria
                              +61 393152244
                              [email protected]
                              www.cmi.com.au

                              Get in contact with these guys! They will be best able to demonstrate the various Lucases (including the Nano) to you, and answer questions! Who knows, maybe you could even arrange to borrow a system for a couple of days to review at a band-rehersal or Live-gig...?


                              HTH
                              Last edited by hairmetal-81; 12-02-13, 04:54 PM.


                              "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                              http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                              Comment

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