Sometimes, downsizing is good—like when backbreaking
sound systems shed the pounds but
still deliver the volume. The Lucas Nano is the
first “personal P.A.” that I’ve reviewed that you
could take to the gig on a motorcycle. (It weighs
23 pounds, and measures 16.5" x 15.5" x 12".)
While it won’t fill an arena, for instant parties,
presentations, weddings, and even venues like
restaurants, the Lucas Nano is a surprising, wellengineered
The Package The ported cabinet has an 8"
woofer with a 160W Class D amp, and drives two
3.5" satellite speakers (35W each). These latch
into the cab for easy transport. Satellites can be
set up in several ways: stacked on each other and
mounted on the top of the woofer, everything
snaps into place—no wires. You can also stack
the two, mount them on a pole stand that fits
into the base to raise the satellites’ height, and
run a speaker cable to them; or go for stereo,
and mount one on the woofer and one on a floor
stand, or both on floor stands. Link two mono
units to create a more powerful stereo setup.
The satellites’ small size and 60-degree
dispersion lets you fit the system into places
where larger systems might not work. For
example, snap the satellites into the woofer
and raise the entire assembly on a chair so the
sound is “off the floor” and at ear level. Or, when
running in mono, separate the two satellites for
Inputs and Controls The system has three
mixable inputs for various needs. The first
handles mic or line signals via a combo 1/4"
jack, with volume and “contour” control; this
feeds both channels with stereo setups. Varying
contour tunes the response for voice; for line ins,
boosts the highs and lows while cutting mids as
you turn it up. The second input has two combo
jacks for stereo line level signals (summed for
mono setups, and switchable to instrument
levels), along with volume and contour controls.
The third offers dual RCA jacks or a 3.5mm
stereo mini jack—ideal for playback from
consumer gear like iPods, DVD players, and
the like. Backing tracks, anyone? This input has
volume and contour controls as well.
Other controls include woofer level, balance
control for stereo setups, and stereo/mono
switch, along with two 1/4" jacks that can send
a mix of all signals to a recorder, or serve as thru
jacks for input 2. This configuration allows using
the Nano as a stage monitor setup, with the outs
going to the front of house.
Is It for Real? While you need to be realistic
about the size of the venue that you can fill with
this system, I think anyone would agree that
the sound levels surpass its size and weight.
What’s more, the convenience factor is off the
hook—set up anywhere, any time, with minimal
hassles. There’s a wide variety of “personal
PAs” available, with price points ranging from
hundreds to thousands of dollars. While you
can spend less (or more) than what you’d pay
for the Lucas Nano, HK has prioritized cost effectiveness
to give more than expected for the
price. If you’re considering a lower-cost system,
I think it’s worth stretching the extra couple
hundred dollars and if you’re considering a
higher-priced one, you might find that the Lucas
Nano does everything you need anyway.
Easy to transport, set up, and tear down. Multiple inputs. Allows various mono and stereo configurations. Clean sound and overload protection. 8" woofer provides decent lows.
$1,100 MSRP, $700 street