The XL has the same DSP (processing) and amp modeling capabilities as the original Axe-Fx II and the Axe-Fx II Mark II.

Most of the differences are rear panel hardware Input/Output (I/O) like a FASLINK port for XLR connection with an MFC-101 Mark III, though there is “expanded memory” which allows a few more types of blocks to have XY functions, more presets to be saved on the unit (768 presets as of 8-4-14, FW 15.04), as well as built-in backup firmware.

As of September 2014, the XL has “potential for more instances of effects,” but the feature has not been introduced yet.

The Axe-Fx II XL can use presets made on both the Axe-Fx II XL and the Axe-Fx II (original and Mark II). But presets made with the Axe-Fx II XL can NOT be used on the Axe-Fx II (original and Mark II).

The Axe-Fx II XL was announced January 27, 2014 and was made available later in March 2014.

The rear panel of the Axe-Fx II Mark II

The rear panel of the Axe-Fx II Mark II

The rear panel of the Axe-Fx II XL

The rear panel of the Axe-Fx II XL

Notable new features of the XL from the Fractal Audio website are as follows:

  • Built-in FASLINK™ port for connection to MFC-101 Mark III over conventional XLR cables.
  • Dedicated MIDI IN, OUT, and THRU jacks (vs. shared OUT/THRU in the Mark II).
  • Two onboard PEDAL jacks (vs. one in the Mark II).
  • Primary VALUE entry via optical encoder with a lifespan of 1,000,000+ rotations.
  • “Secret Sauce III” instrument input features an even lower noise floor.
  • 128 Mb of non-volatile Super-FLASH memory allows for storage of up to 512 presets and 512 user cabinets with copious reserves for future expansion.
  • Double-capacity preset size allows for expanded functionality including X/Y switching on more blocks and more instances of effects.
  • Built-in backup firmware allows recovery in the event of complications during update.
  • Backward compatibility with Axe-Fx II Mark I/II presets via Axe-Edit software.
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Chris

Founder at AxeFxTutorials.com
Chris is a guitarist and drummer in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has been using the Axe-Fx since 2007, starting with an Axe-Fx Ultra, and now the Axe-Fx II. He has been helping people successfully use their FAS gear for years and the creator of many video tutorials as Katsu Kuri Media.

You can support him and AFT.com with a donation to our StreamJar page: http://streamjar.tv/donate/axefxtutorials
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