"A lot brighter" is not an accurate description. The XL II is noticeably brighter if side by side with the XLS but not overwhelmingly so. I have a pair of each. I have no qualms about setting up a Decca with either version as the single mic in front. I do happen to use the XLS much more frequently although it's purely subjective as I've made wonderful recordings with both. I guess if these were primarily for drum OH's then I'd go XLS.