HK AUDIO L.U.C.A.S SMART active speaker system - approx. £800
(Reviewed by John Verity)
HK Audio from Germany manufacture a range of high quality systems using the latest technology to provide solutions across all areas of sound reinforcement, but I felt that their L.U.C.A.S systems could easily fit into music education for a variety of reasons.

All systems in this range use a compact sub-woofer with a pair of satellites - the sub-woofer also houses the power amplifiers so the heavy stuff remains on the floor

- a major consideration with regard to health and safety. The systems are relatively small - easy to store, yet provide high power output with extended frequency range. The range of accessories/ add on package available provide effective solutions for storing and moving the equipment around safely. The systems are equally at home installed permanently, or used portably.

 THE SYSTEM

The Smart system comes in three pieces - comprising a single sub-woofer cabinet which houses the 25cm (10") bass speaker, its power amp and the amps for the satellites plus the 2 satellite speakers themselves. Speakon leads are provided to connect the satellites to the sub-woofer, and mains power is applied to the whole system using the supplied mains lead.

SOUNDING OFF
First of all the system was tested using just one microphone and an acoustic guitar. The sub-woofer cabinet of the \'Smart\' has a number of inputs - stereo inputs on both XLR and ¼" jack designed to receive the outputs from a mixer, line inputs, and a single microphone input. The microphone was set up for vocals, and the electro-acoustic guitar was plugged into the line input labelled \'mono\'. There is no equalisation as such on these inputs as the system is primarily designed to be used with a mixer, however the sound from both the vocal microphone and the guitar was crisp, bright and full - perfectly acceptable in situations where it is not convenient to set up a full rig including a mixer. When a mixer was connected, the full potential of the Smart system was immediately apparent. Very loud for such a small set-up, with deep lows, and sizzling highs when needed - it gives true large PA sound in a small package. One added bonus was that no matter where I stood in the room - even behind the speakers, the reproduction was extremely clear, meaning that there was no need for an on-stage monitoring system for this session - extremely useful when time and space are limited.

SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
SPECIFICATIONS 25cm (10") Sub-woofer powered by 250 watts RMS amplifier. Sub cabinet also houses 2 x 80 watt RMS amplifiers which power the satellites - each containing 16cm (6.5") mid-range and a 2.5cm(1") dome tweeter. Inputs: Line - combination XLR/ jack. Aux. - RCA connector. Mic - XLR. Outputs: Line out - RCA connectors. Satellite speaker out - 2x Speakon connectors.IN CONCLUSION
The L.U.C.A.S systems give high quality, large system sound in a package with a very small footprint. Not the least expensive around, but if you're looking for all-round quality you could do a lot worse.