|Definitive Technology Mythos ST Super Towers/Mythos Ten Speaker System|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Ken Taraszka, MD|
|Tuesday, 01 January 2008|
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Music And Movies
Tori Amos’ Boys for Pele (Atlantic/WEA) is a disc I frequently use to test systems. It has a lot of passages that are tough to reproduce, from the attack of harpsichords to the depth of her Bossendorfer piano. “Blood Roses” clearly showed the Mythos ST’s ability to handle bass while keeping the delicacy of the harpsichord in check. Tori’s vocals filled the sound field and the transitions were quick. The horns in the background of “Father Lucifer” were sharp and clear. “Muhammad My Friend” is one of my favorite references. The depth of bass from the piano at the start can be tough to reproduce well, but the Def Techs had no trouble at all, and in fact could easily do it to 100 dB without compression. These speakers reproduced quiet passages with depth and, when cranked up, they easily handled ear-splitting levels and kept the sound balanced with a huge dynamic range. I sometimes move about the room when listening to music. Some speakers are better than others at filling out the room; some fall short outside of the sweet spot, but not the STs. They gave me excellent sound throughout the room. Sure, with multiple subs, you’d expect a good balance to the bottom end, but these speakers also maintained the mids and highs exceptionally well, which really impressed me.
Jimi Hendrix is one of my all-time favorite musicians, and his album Blues (MCA) is truly one worth owning. I cued this disc up and started off with “Hear My Train a Comin’.” This isn’t the classic version, but rather the one with Jimi playing virtually solo. The Mythos STs clearly portrayed the emotion of the song. My favorite song on this album is Jimi’s rendition of “Catfish Blues.” I have this song on other discs, but none have the sonics of this reissue, and once again, the Def Techs shone. The attack of the guitar notes and smoothness of Hendrix’s vocals were simply amazing. The pace and rhythm of the song was so spot-on that it made me listen to it several times in awe. Every detail came through clearly and well placed.
I knew these speakers could rock, but to really test how well they did, I went to an old heavy metal classic, Iron Maiden’s Piece of Mind (Sony). The opening track “Where Eagles Dare” is fast, with tons of bass and drums. The Def Techs pushed out 110 dB peaks in my 16-by-25-foot listening room without compression, keeping the bass tight yet not getting harsh in the upper end. The results made me bang my head like a high school kid. While listening to this song, I was holding the liner notes from the CD and they were actually vibrating in my hand. This is how much bass these speakers can reproduce. “Flight of Icarus” filled the room with bass and the vocals came from everywhere, never letting me down as I again pushed the limits of volume. In fact, my ears gave out before these speakers did. I had to turn them down and take a rest before doing any further listening.
Moving on to movies, I cued up Spider-Man 3 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) on Blu-ray. This movie has plenty of dynamics, powerful audio and subtle nuances to test a system. Throughout the film, voices were clear and followed the action well. Explosions were – well, how do I say it? – extreme, involving and off-the-charts visceral. With four powered subwoofers in my room, the bass was not just heard, it was outright felt. The depth of bass carried over in subtler ways as well, adding weight and breadth to the voices and impact to the hits. Having the same drivers in all five speakers made for perfect transitions, while the strings in the background music created a huge soundstage that seemed larger than my room.
I next cued up Transformers (Paramount Home Entertainment) on HD DVD. While I didn’t expect much from the movie, I did anticipate some good effects. Well, the movie turned out better than I’d supposed it would, and so did the Mythos system. From helicopters flying around me to massive robots fighting and falling to the streets, the Mythos system kept me surrounded in its powerful bass. The added subwoofers in the rears made the beating of the helicopter blades sound real and aided in the transitions, too. Subtle details were kept clear and distinct, even during bass-heavy passages. The roar as giant Decepticon Megatron falls for what seems like his final time had such depth that it seemed utterly believable coming from something his size.