PRO AUDIO
Taylor

Taylor
November 21, 2013

Presonus Sceptre S6 Studio Monitor Review


It seems like every major pro audio manufacturer has a studio monitor within their product catalog, so how are you supposed to know which ones are the best? If you are mixing and making music professionally or even doing it for fun, then you really want the flattest response possible. It seems that more and more consumers want to get the studio monitor that’s going to have the best response for mixing down a final piece of content, whether that be your pet project or your professional work. With all of these options out there and everyone claiming to have the best on the market, how do we decide which ones to get?

One contender that debuted earlier this year was the Presonus Sceptre S6 Studio Reference Monitors. When I initially saw them on the NAMM show floor I was a little skeptical of the design until I read more about them and how Dave Gunness from Fulcrum Acoustics engineered and designed the coaxial technology. It’s an interesting technology and something worth reading more about. Here are some of the highlights of the technology and features on the Sceptre S6 Studio Reference Monitors. 

Design Overview and Features

The Spectre series of studio monitors have their own custom designed transducers as well as TQ algorithms designed by Fulcrum Acoustics. There’s a lot of math and specs you can read on the Presonus website for more on that. The real thing to note is the coaxial system they have designed for these monitors. In a lot of studio monitors you have an asymmetrical dispersion pattern which can sometimes create and inaccurate sounding mix. With the Sceptre series, the drivers are on the same axis so you get a symmetrical dispersion pattern from a single point source.

The TQ algorithms is what Fulcrum Acoustics calls their temporal equalization technology. You can read all about the technical aspects of this technology on the Presonus site, but basically its an expensive and advanced technology that is now being made affordable enough to be included in consumer level speakers. Essentially it helps with eliminating horn reflections and other sonic anomalies. This together with the DSP technology on board work to give you the finest auditory fidelity in a studio monitor. These work together with the performance control settings on the back of the monitor to help get the most out of these monitors no matter where your listening environment may be. Check out the video above for a closer look at the performance controls.

One feature I really liked, and probably the least sexy of all, were the safety features. The RF shielding is fantastic in this mobile digital world of floating frequencies. It works to protect against audible radio frequencies so you don’t have the baseball game being announced when tracking guitar parts from a direct line into your interface. There is also a feature called “soft startup” which helps to eliminate that damaging pop noise that can be induced when turing your monitors on and off. Sometimes it’s these little design improvements that really make the difference in the longevity of a studio monitor and I am really happy to see Presonus providing careful attention to eliminating these types of problems.

Review

The Presonus Sceptre S6 monitors are certainly quality monitors with fantastic dynamic control when tuning these monitors within your workspace. The one drawback is that these studio monitors are rather expensive in a marketplace that has comparable studio reference monitors for a lot less. To be fair, what you are paying for is the computer inside which houses the DSP and TQ algorithms. That’s a great leap forward in speaker technology, but you’re going to have to pay a pretty penny for it and it might not be necessary for your level of studio production. With that said, many of the less expensive options require you to position your monitors just right and even then they can embellish certain frequencies over others. With something like the Sceptre S6 monitors, you can be outside of the mix position and still get a quality level of fidelity anywhere in the room. So if you’ve got the cash and you are in need of a studio monitor that will help with your final mix, you should take a look at the Presonus Sceptre S6 Studio Reference Monitors.

If you have any questions about the Presonus Sceptre S6 or any other Presonus gear, feel free to leave us a comment below so we can talk about it. To find these and other professional audio products, be sure to visit us over at UniqueSquared.com.

SLAM!!

Transcript

The Sceptre S6 is a studio reference monitor from Presonus. The Sceptre S6 CoActual Studio Monitor’s coaxial speaker integrates a 6.5-inch low to mid-frequency driver and a 1-inch, horn-loaded, high-frequency transducer. The Sceptre series features an advanced coaxial design that works with a 32-bit, 48 kHz processor using Fulcrum Acoustic’s Temporal Equalization technology. Each transducer is powered by a 90W RMS, Class D power amplifier with an internal heat sink. All Sceptre-series monitors offer RF shielding, current-output limiting, and over-temperature protection and have internal power supplies with IEC connectors and power switches with on/off LEDs. An amplifier “soft start” feature eliminates popping on power-up. The back of the Sceptre S6 houses your output connections as well as switches for adjusting settings to help attenuate these studio reference monitors to your room. All Sceptre-series monitors have a balanced XLR and ¼-inch TRS line-level inputs with A-taper level control. There’s A four-position Acoustic Space switch with four attenuation settings so that you can account for the bass response relative to room dimensions and speaker placement. A High-Frequency Driver Adjust switch adjusts the tweeter’s overall level to linear, +1 dB, -1.5 dB, or -4 dB. A High Pass switch sets the 12 dB/octave filter’s low-frequency cutoff to linear, 60 Hz, 80 Hz, or 100 Hz. For more on the Presonus Sceptre S6 Studio Reference Monitors, be sure to visit the uniquesquared blog linked below this video. To pick up a pair of Sceptre S6 monitors for your studio, head on over to UniqueSquared.com You’re watching UniqueSquared.com.