A true story: at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2008, Definitive Technology rolled out its Mythos STS Super Tower loudspeaker ($2998/pair), a tall, slim speaker with an self-powered subwoofer fitted within its svelte cabinet. The STS was intended as a smaller and lower-priced version of the firm’s critically acclaimed Mythos ST (see my review in Playback Issue 2). As I listened to the STS in Definitive’s demonstration suite, it struck me as being one of those rare creations where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts—a speaker that recalibrates our notion of what products its price can do.
A few minutes later I visited the suite of a boutique speaker maker who was introducing new tower models roughly the height of the STS, but that sold for (gulp!) about $20,000/pair. As I listened to the $20k towers, I noted a few performance areas where they were better than the STS, but many areas where they glaringly were not. A colleague who was touring the show with me leaned over and whispered, “Is it my imagination, or were those $3000 Definitive speakers better than these expensive towers overall?” My answer: No, it’s not your imagination, and yes, the Mythos STS invites comparison to far more costly products.
The Mythos STS’s pencil-slim enclosure is made of extruded aluminum and divided into two chambers. The top chamber houses a midrangetweeter- midrange D’Appolito driver array, while the lower chamber houses a racetrack-shaped, carbon fiber woofer, two oblong passive radiators and a 300-watt bass amplifier. The STS features the same tweeter used in the ST, while its midrange driver, woofer, and passive radiators are basically downsized versions of the ST’s drivers.
The sidewalls of the STS enclosures are gently rounded to help fight unwanted internal resonance, and they give the speaker a parabolic shape when viewed from above. The cabinets are polished to a silky, satin sheen, and offered in either anodized black or silver. Finally, “rock solid” mounting bases made of polished granite give the speakers a firm foundation and a touch of understated elegance.