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PreSonus Sceptre S8 8" Powered Monitor Reviews

5.0 stars based on 13 customer reviews
Questions about the PreSonus Sceptre S8 8" Powered Monitor?

Questions about the PreSonus Sceptre S8 8" Powered Monitor?

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  • from USA October 18, 2015

    God of Studio!

    I recently got a pair of the PreSonus Sceptre S8 and I gotta tell you, these are the most awesome monitors I have ever heard! I used to think my Bose 901's sounded good until I got the Sceptres. The clarity of the sound is truly crystal and pristine. The vocals sound incredibly crisp and natural! I never realized what listening to music was until now. Every little sound to the minutest detail is audible. I'm a true believer now that I own a set. As soon as I got them I began to play the virtual synth's that are in my DAW and I was taken back by the broad spectrum of sound that was being reproduced by the Sceptres, all in amazing stereo. Bask in the sweet glory of these beauties and it's like taking a refreshing shower of pure sound! You won't regret it, guaranteed!

    I can't thank my Sweetwater Sales Engineer, Jonathan Appleton, enough for having highly recommended these to me! They are all he said about them and much, much more. I feel like the God of Studio has poured out his musical blessings on me with these truly enlightening monitors!

  • from Massachusetts May 13, 2015Music Background:
    30 years as a musician, 15 years as a studio owner.

    Wow. Just Wow.

    I won't lie, i was a bit nervous about buying a monitor from Presonus, and that's coming from a guy who already uses a LOT of their gear in my studio (SL24, ACP88, HP60, Faderport). Monitors need to be right. I felt that maybe i should go with a company that had a more storied history in the speaker world. Simply put, I felt like I was going to Pizza Hut, and ordering a burger.

    Well, I put my faith in PreSonus, and I'm so glad I did. Another analogy (I'm an analogy guy....): Some people struggle to see for years, and they don't realize how blind they've been until they break down and get glasses. Once they look through the lenses, the world suddenly becomes perfectly clear, colorful, vibrant... they kick themselves for not making the move years ago.

    This is the effect the Sceptre 8's had that effect on my ears. The clarity and detail are AMAZING. The low end is tight, the mids are solid, and the highs are crisp. You can hear the tiny little itty bitty changes in EQ, compression, and effect tails. They thurmp like crazy at 180 watts per side, and the acoustic space controls worked perfectly to tame the boominess in my little 300 square foot studio.

    Don't be afraid of them. Order them. You'll love them. You won't believe your ears!

  • from Texas March 26, 2015Music Background:
    Musician and recording enthusiast

    Surprisingly good, took a while to know what made them so...

    I have used several brands of monitors over the years, and have been fortunate to have worked in studios where cost was no factor in monitor selection... monster systems! For home use, and for someone for whom cost will always be a factor, I've tried several brands including Genelec (1029), Dynaudio(BM5A), and some lower level monitors by Alesis (Monitor 2) and Behringer (3030). All had their pluses and minuses, with the Dynaudios being the personal favorites I have owned and used.

    While at Presonushere 2013 I saw the new Sceptre S8. I didn't spend a lot of time with them, but noted they sounded good and were very powerful. I bought a pair of the Presonus 328Ai speakers, and LOVED them. Literally studio quality in a PA speaker.

    The experience with the 328Ai reignited my interest in the similarly coaxial (Co-Actual in Presonuspeak) speaker configuration. As I could always return them, what was there to lose? I got a set. They arrived in a large package, well packed, with all the normal stuff. They are nice looking, a touch large, but unassuming in appearance. They'll blend into almost any decor.

    I got them set up, and set for the input, then settled in to listen. They sounded good on a basic mix but were, honestly, less than impressive. Not bad, just kind of "there," if you know what I mean. I continued listening and noted minor EQ changes were immediately noticeable. The longer I listened, the clearer it became. What sounded sort of blase' on first listen was actually just an accurate replay of the material. There was absolutely zero "hi-fi" enhancement of the sound. A good finished mix sounds finished. A bare mix sounds bare. You hear all of the verb, the delay, phasing, everything. The more I listened, the more blown away I was. These things are true to the studio monitor goal: what goes in is what comes out.

    In comparisons since, I can most closely equate them to Genelecs 8050 series, and that is high praise indeed. That's what I would have bought if I had the budget, so you can imagine how happy I am to hear the performance on par with them, at least in short listening samples. I'd love to listen to both on a longer term, but my wallet won't allow it! I can say they sound easily better than anything I have owned, and those I tried in the price range (Adam A7X as an example).

    I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a reasonably priced, high quality, powerful, and accurate speaker. I would not recommend them to anyone looking for a hi-fi listening application, they simply reveal every bad mix that has made it to tape/cd. I think these are the best value on the market. Needless to say, I did not return them.

  • from June 24, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, Engineer

    Co-Axial as it Should Be

    They say your monitors are where you put the bulk of your money ahead of any component in a home studio. Stretch for the best monitors you can find within the budget you have set for yourself. For the sub-$1000 bracket, there is no question in my mind that these are where it's at. Heck, if you go the S8 route, you're in the realm of speakers double or triple this price - and possibly beating them. From what I'm hearing, I WOULD say beating them. Co-Axial was once in fashion, but never truly perfected due to lengthy scientific mumbo jumbo that I won't get into. So designers and manufacturers avoided the methodology for a while. Enter PreSonus.... finally bringing speakers to the table with true co-axial architecture, but taking care of perfecting their accuracy via a freakin' computer inside each speaker! A marriage you don't need to know... simply forget about it and listen to the results. How would I describe the sound as compared to traditional monitors with 2-way or 3-way drivers all separated? Pinpoint accuracy without separation. The pair delivers a stereo image that simply "hovers in space above your desk" like a 3D hologram. Completely crystalline in detail. Seemingly coming from nowhere. Everything is aligned together, and your stereo mix is portrayed exactly, assembled in the air. Hard to describe in words. As opposed to lifting your head high or low 12 inches and getting slightly different results (as with traditional 2 or 3-way) you don't need to hunt for a "sweet spot" for listening, with these. With coaxial, you can move your head position up and down like 2 feet, and the color of your mix stays the same. Your "sweet spot" is huge, to the point where you can omit the habit of having to concentrate on returning yourself to the correct listening position. You're always in it ! As for sound quality, I'd say quality regular speakers are like looking through a perfectly clean glass window at a garden scene. You don't see the glass, and the scene looks crisp, clean, and great. With the S8's, it's like the glass is *removed from the window frame*, so the garden scene image becomes that much more vivid. That little extra added bonus of definition you didn't expect. That's co-axial. That's Sceptre.

  • from May 7, 2014Music Background:
    Professional loser

    Amazing under 2000

    3 words - Flat Pure Awesome

  • from Clayton, Indiana April 7, 2014Music Background:
    Project Studio Owner, Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer,

    Great Monitors

    All is as advertised so far . I am impressed by the increase in spatial clarity and very present mids.. Bass response.is really hearty, but focused tighter than my previous monitor speakers. The Spectre S8 are very clear at any volume with no apparently noise from the amps. I enjoy using the Monitor Station the came with a rebate. Sweetwater was very quick on delivery ( 1 day) and Presonus was astoundingly fast with the promised monitor station rebate, It arrived in 3 days. Thanks go to Yuvall Fuchs at Sweetwater for great service.

  • from Vostok Antarctica April 6, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, Sound Designer, Studio Engineer, Graphics Designer

    No more struggling ... Life is good : ) !!!

    Ummm - Wow !
    I've been doing Ethereal & Ambient music for over 20 years & for a long time was on a low budget (sorta still am) & I first used home stereo speakers then later on "what I thought" were good budget monitors - well as my skills progressed it became apparent they were horrible ... I always loved Dual Concentric (Coaxial) for audiophile use in my home ...

    Well when these came out I read a lot of reviews, read comparisons ... Basically did near 2 months of research & took a chance on these AND AM I EVER GLAD I DID !!!!

    These Monitors have PERFECT stereo image - the "sweet spot" is everywhere -- no need to sit perfectly still to be in it AT ALL - yet does NOT whatsoever sound "mono" - every change you make with panning, spacial effects, you name it - you Can Hear the changes Perfectly & Clearly & they do NOT sound like horns whatsoever . . .

    If you close your eyes you can't even picture the speakers in your mind ! Complete, flat, ACCURATE transparency !!!

    These are a "REVELATION" !!!

    My mixes have improved 10 fold, takes less than a third of the time, I use LESS plugins & my mixes translate BEAUTIFULLY to other systems ... Car, HiFi, PC, headphones, ear buds, etc ... No more running to all these sources including friends systems & pulling my hair out trying to get to a final mix I'm happy with !

    These tell you EXACTLY what you are hearing ... The best any great monitors can - and these ARE BEYOND GREAT !!!

    Sure they can depending on the material sound a tad bit boxy (tho its Very rare they do)but I think most speakers do - so to me it's not a con ... The bass is deep, present, accurate & natural,.. The hi's & mids are critical yet not harsh or fatiguing UNLESS YOUR MATERIAL 'IS'

    You can actually trust over a short period of time that if your mixes sound good & make you smile using these ... They sound good everywhere : )

    They have also & continue to teach me about mastering & more intuitive ways to approach it ... Oh and lastly they look amazing ! ; )

    Unfortunately my Monitor Station that with a rebate I got free is defective & I hope Presonus replaces it instead of repairing it ... It is brand new after all ...

    No complaints, no need to adjust the settings of the back except for setting gain to Unity (centered) & I'm dazzled, wowed & far, far less stressed out when I work in the studio now,. be it composing or mastering & I keep the center as directed in the manual level with my ears ...

    Oh OH & I've listened to some of my favorite albums produced by well known Engineers & I ask myself "what monitors were they using" as some of these albums sound terribly mastered or atleast some songs do & I never heard the defects before ... These will teach you to master & master very well ... Just trust what these are relaying to you & you're golden ! : )

  • from Kansas City area February 11, 2014Music Background:
    Songwriter, studio guy

    You could pay more, but I don't know why you would.

    I originally auditioned the Scepter S8’s in a pro audio store with a mock recording setup with three pair of monitors; Focal Solo6 Be 6.5's and CMS 40's on the desk, and the S8’s on tall stands spaced roughly eight feet apart. Seated in the mix position the S8’s were too high and too far apart (think isosceles triangle). Nevertheless, when I auditioned the first cut on my reference CD I was astonished by the Sceptre's soundstage and stereo image. You would expect a “hole-in-the-middle” problem given the wide spacing, but I heard all the instruments and vocals exactly where they were supposed to be. The stereo image was more cohesive when I stood and moved back (creating the requisite equilateral triangle between the monitors and my head/ears). Listening to the eclectic mix of styles on my CD, I found the S8’s to be revealing and pleasant; detailed, but not overly analytical; able to reproduce transient detail, and capable of providing enough low-end that a sub isn't necessary. In total I auditioned seven pair of monitors (in 2 stores) before deciding on the S8’s. After all that, I knew the real test would be conducted in my studio - so I ordered a pair.

    I placed the Scepter’s on IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R200 stands on the upper tier of my mix desk, and tilted them downward (the triangle thing again). I calibrated the Sceptre’s using an SPL meter app on my iPhone; Slow, C-weighted Sound Level (LCS), using the iPhone 5s mic (sorry – no measurement mic). I have a well-treated room, and sometimes I like to crank my monitors, so I set them at 85db max at unity gain. My “B” monitors are set to 79db, so I used my trusty label maker to create a marker on my Monitor Station where I can compare both pair at 79db. PreSonus has a handy video on monitor calibration on YouTube, just search "PreSonus - How to calibrate your studio monitors".

    I've done several long mixing sessions with all monitor settings in the neutral (linear) position, and I find the monitors very natural sounding. The horns have a presence; airy, a slightly forward tonality, but not hyped or fatiguing in any way. Finding the right words to describe how monitors sound is somewhat challenging; the one word I feel best describes the S8's is "transparent" - I feel like I'm listening through the monitors and not to them. The clarity of the highs, the definition of the upper mids, and the abundant but tight bass completes the package. I can’t speak to Fulcrum's Temporal Equalization and DSP wizardry, other than to say they made horns not sound like horns - no honk, hoot, or perceptible smearing. The S8's sound very smooth, and they're getting better with each session - loosening up nicely. I don't know if I'll ever touch the settings on the back of the monitors, but it's nice to know I have flexible tonal adjustment at my disposal.

    I’m able to hear details in the mix I wasn't able to hear with my last two pair of monitors. This has been both a blessing and a curse, as I've gone back and re-mixed two songs I previously thought were ready for prime time. It's a liberating feeling to know I won't be fighting with my monitors, wasting CDs on near misses, and coping with that sinking feeling you get when something sounds really good in the studio then truly awful elsewhere. Last but not least, I'm especially pleased I got this much monitor for the money. When you consider the price/performance equation, you'll be hard pressed to find a better value.

  • from Denver January 12, 2014Music Background:
    Engineer / Producer / Live Sound

    More than I bargained for... much more!

    Just picked up a pair two weeks ago to upgrade my home studio main monitors which were Tannoy Reveals.

    Wow, am I ever impressed with the way these sound! Crisp and clean from top to bottom. The coaxial woofer and horn with time alignment are just magical. It was like taking fingers out of my ears to listen to these. The sound in my home studio now rivals the pro rooms in town.

    These babies are not small at nearly a foot wide and deep, and almost a foot and a half high. Bigger than they look in the pictures. Solidly built with blue Presonus logo pilot lights which I think is a nice, elegant touch. The S6 would be a good choice if space is an issue.

    I selected these because the science in their design is top shelf, and I have had nothing but excellent success with the other PreSonus products I own.

    I bought them to improve the quality of my studio mixes, and I am sure they will do exactly that. I have worked in pro studios where price was no object, but for me price was an object and these are the best by far in the 'under $2500 a pair' range. You could spend more, but you sure don't need to.

    When I first fired them up I ran a pink noise analysis to set the eq. with my DBX PA +. The curve was so flat I ran it again to be sure it wasn't a mistake. Eventually I removed the EQ from the signal chain. There are fine tuning controls on the back, but I just run mine flat.

    Rush's Tom Sawyer is my standard reference track for studio and PA fine tuning. I have used it hundreds of times for this purpose. That was the first track I played through the Sceptre S8s. I expected to be able to pick apart some part of the sound but I couldn't find anything that wasn't amazing. Before I knew it, the whole cd had played twice and was starting a third time, and that is when I realized I was so relaxed and comfortable with the sound from these S8s because I WAS LISTENING TO THE MUSIC, NOT THE SPEAKERS! That was a revelation to me.

    Next up was some Best of Alan Parsons Project. I heard things in familiar tunes that I had never heard before. No dissapoinments here.

    Finally I played some of my own mixes. This is where the real critique would happen. My own wonderful mixes sounded... well, not quite so wonderful anymore. The Sceptre S8s were letting me hear exactly what I needed to hear: the flaws in my own mixes and engineering. Dogs barking outside the recording studio, flourescent lights in vocal tracks, things I never be heard in the final mix before, but there they were. Too much 125 in the kick, too much sizzle in the overheads, the list goes on and on. But you know what? THATS WHY I BOUGHT THEM!

    Now, back to the studio I go. I've got some more mixes to fix.

    And two albums worth of material I am more excited than ever to finish recording, mixing and mastering.

    I know monitors are the key piece to great sounding mixes, and I feel like I have hit the jackpot with the Presonus Sceptre S8s. Best purchase I ever made for my studio. You just can't go wrong with these!

  • from United States January 1, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Audio Engineer and Systems Designer

    Nothing better anywhere near this price

    I purchased a pair of these about a month ago and still get a big smile every time I listen to them. As everyone else mentioned the stereo imaging is like nothing I've hear before. The clarity of the highs are great and don't have the horn sound I was expecting. Bass is tight and defined and plenty powerful. If you're looking for amazing studio monitors these are the ticket. My only negative is the size. Make sure you have room for these big guys.

  • from Upper peninsula MI December 18, 2013Music Background:
    Interpose Productions

    NO need to buy another monitor after this purchase

    Continues to blow my mind away every time I use them. I upgraded from HS80s. the coaxial system allows you to not have to sit in the "sweet spot" to hear the wonderful stereo image. I also was able to listen to previous mixes and pinpoint areas i could have improved instantly. Thank you presonus!

  • from November 13, 2013

    very good

    For what I know this is way better then krk and Yamaha. I can hear the stereo spread. The mid is really nice and it feels a lot nicer to listen to. I just got it so still testing it out. Its a really good monitor so far.

  • from Milwaukee, WI November 4, 2013Music Background:
    Audio Engineer/Author

    Really Something Special

    I heard these at the PreSonuSphere event last month and was amazed by the clarity and separation. I like coaxial speakers for the amazing separation (e.g.. classic Tanoys), but I always expect horn tweeters to be harsh. What PreSonus has done with these is some sort of digital voodoo. using tempural EQ they have corrected the physical limitations of the horn and the low frequency driver.

    I am now sure how they have done that at this price. The result is really amazing - startling - clarity in the upper mids. There is no harshness and I find them very non-fatiguing. They sound really different than the Genelecs that I have been using. You can hear long-lost details in the mix and you might lose a lot of time going through al your reference tracks. s

    It will take some more time to determine how mixing on these speakers translate, but after the 4 days with these things, they have far surpassed my expectations.

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