The slender STS makes a fine speaker upon which to base a surround system, in large part because it offers such a pleasing combination of power and finesse. You can hear both qualities in action in Chapter 17 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where Harry envisions that he is Nagini the snake slithering through the corridors of the Ministry of Magic to attack Arthur Weasley.
As the snake moved down the hallway, the STS delineated the eerie, whisperlike sound of its scaly body traversing the black tile floor while simultaneously reproducing the loud, low bass shudder of heartbeat-like sound effects signaling the reptile’s murderous intent. It’s this ability to handle subtle textural details while flexing its muscles that sets the STS apart. What’s more, the STS pretty much obviates the need for supplementary subwoofers (though for larger rooms, you might want to step up to the bigger, more potent ST). Music playback, however, is arguably the STS’s true forte, and here’s why. While certain speakers in the $3000/pair price range may do a few things better than the STS does, none offers a better-balanced or more complete overall package of sonic virtues.
Want details and finesse? Just listen to Marshal Royal and Joe Wilder trade solos in “Mood Indigo” from Mostly Ellington [Blueport/Nuforce], and you’ll hear the STS reproduce a cornucopia of subtle reed/mouthpiece noises, fingering sounds, and even moments when the performers breathe between phrases—all of which help the recording sound real.
Want lifelike dynamics? Check out “Moten Swing” from Clark Terry’s The Chicago Section 1995-96 [Reference Recordings] through the STS and prepare to be—quite literally— blown away by the big, bold, brassy horn section volume swells you’ll hear. Want imaging and soundstaging on a grand orchestral scale? Put on the Järvi/Cincinnati recording of “Marche au supplice” (March to the Scaffold) from Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique [Telarc, SACD], and listen to the STS present the rich, layered sound of the orchestra as it expands to fill the stage and then reverberates within the recording venue. Few other speakers at this price can do so many things so well.
The Mythos STS is a well-rounded, “can-do” performer that can handle virtually any type of music (or movie soundtrack) with grace, poise, power and astonishing levels of refinement. The STS is so good that it not only invites but demands comparisons with far more costly speakers.