Sandy Gross, president of Definitive Technology, is a devoted audiophile who appreciates the sound of today's finest loudspeakers. But what Mr. Gross likes even better than audio exotica is building cleverly-conceived real-world speakers that deliver serious high-end sound at Everyman prices. A perfect example would be Definitive’s Mythos ST SuperTowers, which were announced at CES 2007 and are hands down the best-sounding speakers Definitive has ever produced. Now, with the arrival of the Mythos Ten center channel, Definitive is able to offer listeners a complete Mythos ST surround sound package—one whose breathtaking sound quality puts many higher-priced systems to shame
Definitive’s Mythos STs are tall, slender floorstanders housed in solid aluminum enclosures (available in silky-smooth satin silver or black finishes) that attach to polished granite floor plates. Despite their pencil-slim appearance the STs are full-range speakers with built-in powered subwoofers. Internally, the STs are subdivided into two sections. The top supports a two-way, midrange-tweeter-midrange D’Appolito array that handles all frequencies from the mid-bass region on up, while the bottom houses a 300-watt sub based on an unorthodox “racetrack-shaped” woofer flanked by a pair of oblong passive radiators. The sub delivers potent bass that extends down to a claimed 14Hz. The matching Mythos Ten center channel essentially takes the top section of the ST, flips it on its side, and stretches the chassis just enough to fit in a pair of oblong passive radiators similar to, but smaller than, those in the ST. The Mythos Ten’s bass doesn’t go as low as the floorstander’s does, but its voicing is identical to the ST’s, meaning you’ll enjoy seamless speaker-to-speaker transitions when sound effects pan across the front channels.
Completing the system is a pair of Mythos Gem XL surround speakers, also based on two-way, three-driver D’Appolito arrays. The speakers are an earlier-generation design so their drivers are not quite as sophisticated as those used in the STs and the Ten. Even so, the compact Gem XLs could easily qualify as main speakers in most systems, meaning they’re more than adequate as surround speakers.
The Mythos ST surround system draws together three essential sonic qualities—power, detail, and refinement—that add up to a third: a touch of pure magic. Let me explain what this means. On movie soundtracks, the ST system produces an articulate, neutrally-voiced and decidedly muscular sound that absolutely takes command of most listening rooms. In the initial chase seen from Terminator III: Rise of the Machines, a deadly robotic Terminatrix (Kristanna Loken) drives a motorized crane, pursuing John Connor (Nick Stahl) and his spouse-to-be (Claire Danes) through crowded city streets. The ST system reproduced the ensuing mayhem of the crane ripping through phone poles, cars, and even buildings with terrific vigor and dynamic impact. Yet at the same time the ST rig never lost sight of two key qualities that many systems lack: overarching clarity and low-level detail. At one point in the chase, for example, the evil Terminator (Loken) attempts to dispose of the good-guy Terminator (Schwarzenegger) by dragging him through the cab of an oncoming fire truck. Through many speaker systems the resulting collision produces