Before all of the Fractal Audio Axe-FX II users out there cry in dismay at the inevitable update of the world’s most popular Amp Modelling hardware unit don’t despair, while it does include some hardware upgrades it still contains the same DSP and amp modeling capabilities as the predecessor. Having said that there are some nice upgrades:
- 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.
The Axe-Fx II XL will be available in March 2014 with a list price of $2999.95. (Direct Price TBA).
The Axe-Fx II XL will be offered in the Fractal Audio Systems online store alongside the Axe-Fx II.