Many products on the market offer style or substance. Very rarely do you get both. Some manufacturers focus on appearance and offer little in the way of performance. Others aim for fantastic performance, but allow appearance to suffer. Apple is one of the few companies that melds these two feats together for beautiful industrial design and blazingly fast operation.
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Now Definitive Technology has joined those esteemed ranks with their new Mythos line of loudspeakers. These speakers are stunning, designed to match the aesthetics that so many plasma monitors have. However, will the performance match the looks?
Not only was the Mythos system designed to complement a plasma display, it was also designed to be wall or shelf mounted. The Mythos One full-range tower loudspeakers are designed to sit on the floor with their supplied tempered glass bases (very stylish, I might add), but if you don't want to use up valuable floor space, you can easily implement four Mythos Two wall-mount loudspeakers with the Mythos Three center speaker placed on the wall above or below the plasma display. The Mythos Two and Three come with matching stainless steel wall mount brackets. The speakers are finished in hand-polished aluminum with very attractive grille covers. The speakers are also available in black, but I recommend the polished aluminum, especially when mated with a plasma monitor.
Installation/Setup/Ease of Use
The Mythos system I received for evaluation included a pair of the Mythos One tower loudspeakers, a single Mythos Three center speaker, and a pair of Mythos Two speakers for surround duty. I connected the system to my reference Sunfire Ultimate Receiver, with Definitive Technology's own SuperCube 1 subwoofer for the bottom end help.
Connecting this speaker system is very easy, as the five-way binding posts offer flexible connection. The supplied wall mount brackets are fantastic, allowing for installation in minutes. For my evaluation, I installed the Mythos One loudspeakers on either side of the plasma monitor, about eight feet apart, with the Mythos Three center speaker mounted on the wall below the monitor. The Mythos Two surround speakers were mounted towards the back of the room, on the side walls. Tuning the system was very simple, and I was able to achieve a balanced sound after only a few minutes of tweaking. It is important to note that all of the Mythos loudspeakers were designed to work with one of Definitive Technology's wonderful subwoofers, and even though the speakers offer excellent bass response, there is plenty of benefit to having the bass extend even deeper. With my SuperCube 1 subwoofer connected, there was plenty of rumble. The bass was tight and clearly defined. Mated with the Supercube subwoofer, the Mythos One, Two and Three speaker system sounded like a $20,000 home theater speaker package. It only costs a fraction of that price, but possesses the looks and performance expected from such a lofty sum.
While testing multi-channel SACD material, such as Sting's very well-recorded Sacred Love 5.1 mix, I was immediately blown away by the Mythos system's imaging and soundstaging. The lead vocals seemed to be part of the soundstage, rather than being too far forward. The tone of the system was very neutral, which I assure you is a good thing. The all-important midrange of the performance was very pleasing, and the entire 360-degree soundstage was very even and well balanced. On upbeat songs such as "Send Your Love" or "Whenever I Say Your Name," nothing seemed to get lost when there was a lot going on. Instead I heard detail and spaciousness that truly surprised me and put a big wide smile on my face. On more restrained compositions such as "Dead Man's Rope," which is a very solemn song, the guitars show off the midrange tonality of the Mythos speakers. Since all of the speakers get virtually the same drivers, you're sure to get an even sound. On SACD music, I found these speakers to be very exciting and dynamic.Read more about the performance of the Mythos One on Page 2.