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First Look At the PreSonus Sceptre Studio Reference Monitors

The PreSonus Sceptre S6 (6 in.) and S8 (8 in.) professional studio monitors just hit the  Sonic Sense control room late last week, and boy, do they sound great! We’ve been playing musical chairs with our monitors and swapping Sceptres for Genelec, Neumann, JBL, ADAM, and even other PreSonus monitors to see how they truly compare.

Having been very pleased with the linear (“flat”) response of the PreSonus Eris E5 and E8 monitors, we anxiously awaited the arrival of the Sceptres. Knowing Dave Gunness, legendary loudspeaker designer from EAW and Fulcrum Acoustics, was involved in the Sceptre design, combined with the numerous accomplishments of PreSonus, we had very high expectations. Turning them on yielded the results we expected right out of the box.

This first listen, and many more, have demonstrated tight, well-defined low-end, clear mid-band for vocals, horns and guitars, and full, present high-end. The nearly clinical quality provides a window into a mix.


With the use of CoActual (PreSonus’ take on CoAxial) technology, the PreSonus Sceptres S6 and PreSonus Sceptres S8 provide the benefits that come with single point source emission, such as giving a consistent acoustic center with a very even dispersion pattern.

While sitting at the desk and listening, there was a wide sweet spot, which presents a well-defined stereo image, even if you’re not sitting perfectly centered at the console. This is helpful for studios with both an engineer’s position and a mid room producer’s desk (or couch at the back). At almost any spot in our studio, the overall tonal balance remained consistent and the Sceptre’s really filled up the room.

While many of us had heard lots of great monitors, some may not realize how much goes on “under the hood” (or in the box in this case). Loudspeaker and monitors designers often have to make a lot of compromises when designing their products; that’s where DSP comes into play. Each of the Sceptre monitor’s DSP chip utilizes Fulcrum Acoustic’s TQ (Temporal EQualization) algorithms. Their formulas aid in managing horn reflections, correcting time and amplitude inconsistencies, and contouring the performance of the speaker itself. While historically only DSP like this was only found in products costing, thousands, or 10’s of thousands of dollars, PreSonus has put this technologically into the hands of those who need a more affordable studio monitor option.

In the case of PreSonus’ Sceptres, both physical build and DSP was taken into account during all stages of the design process so that the two could work in harmony and produce a better product; rather than one being used as a band aid to correct the problems from another. With an HPF control (60, 80, and 100 Hz), a HF Driver volume control (+1, -1.5, and -4 dB), and an Acoustic Space control (-1.5, -3, and -6 dB), the Sceptres studio monitors can be optimized for best performance in your favorite listening space.

As promised, the sound quality truly does stand up well beside high-end monitors that have become “household” names in the studio world including ADAM, Genelec, JBL, and Neumann.

But, don’t take our word for it, check them out in the following video, “PreSonus Sceptre S8 First Look” and audio samples below where you can here the Sceptres in a relative comparison beside others in their price range as well as a much higher-priced flagship example.

As always, for best results, be sure to download the full resolution 24-bit/44.1kHz audio files and listen to them in your favorite DAW or listening program.