2023: Can I buy a version of Cubase today that will run on MacOS High Sierra?

I was going to make use of the Cubase 12 March 40% off sale, but it seems that I can’t use that license to run an older versions of Cubase on my current machine (MacOS 10.13.6 High Sierra).
I know its an old machine, and I might buy a new Mac in the next 12 months or so, but is it true that a license for 12 will not able to activate an older version such as Cubase 9, 9.5 or 10 which it seems might run on Mac High Sierra.

Is Cubase 9, 9.5 or 10 still downloadable? What would I need to run one of these ? An old Licensor thing? Is it still a USB stick

Do you have an older license or will be your first Cubase?

This will be the first Cubase. I don’t have an old License.

Ok. Maybe, the best way to run an older version as a new user is buying an used license. But be aware: Do not buy an used license that was already used to upgrade to version 12, and you will need to receive the USB elicenser from the seller. The seller will need to follow a specific procedure:

When you buy cubase you have access to older versions.

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Really, i can run Cubase SX for example?

Saw this?

I remember trying Sx on windows 10 (just for fun) last year,It all went OK.
On mac i have no idea, maybe someone can say it.

I don’t think that’s true for v12, you would need an elicenser based version , 12 has no support for elicenser. So the best way is what’s suggested above, get a second hand license & then upgrade to 12 for the best of both worlds.

This is not correct for users who start with Cubase 12.

from https://www.steinberg.net/licensing:

The new Steinberg Licensing system does not apply to versions of our products prior to the first version that uses the new system: so if you buy, say, a new license for Cubase 12 as a brand-new customer, you cannot run Cubase 11 or earlier, but if you are an existing Steinberg customer who updates to Cubase 12 from Cubase 11, you can still run Cubase 11 or indeed any previous version of Cubase provided you connect your USB-eLicenser containing the license for Cubase 11.

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So how exactly am I supposed to do that?
a) where can I buy one? that link you included was a wizard for selling them, and has nothing about buying.
b) how can I be sure that the USB elicensor has not been upgraded?

I vaguely looked into this before and couldn’t find anywhere to safely buy an old license.

So here is a copy of Cubase 9 Artist for sale nearby: (for €135 + postage)

So how can I be sure that it is a legitimate copy? The seller says nothing about the USB elicensor either. Did the Cubase 9 Artist just have a registation code?

As with anything on ebay, you can never be really sure, you can only check for suspicious signs. If it’s close to you, maybe just drive there.
From the pictures, it seems that there is an eLicenser included, so it might be that it is an unregistered version (unlikeley tbh), or that the license is already on the eLicenser. You should ask that.
But tbh, 135€ seems way too expensive for me, seeing that you can get Artist 12 in the current sale for ~200, but the upgrade from Artist 9 is another 95 bucks.

Well its not that close. Taking the train all the way to Zülpich or hiring a car to drive up there and just to look at a copy of Cubase is not really something I want to do (I do not own a car).

And yes, I agree that 135 seems way over-priced. But it was more of an examplary case. My point was more that it is totally impossible for a buyer to have any idea whether the 2nd hand copy will be usable.

I guess I could also just force myself to get used to Ableton Live instead, and not worry about Cubase (which I used to use a decade or so ago).

You can try download the trial version, you never know, it might work.

I just realised that my Macbook actually can possibly run a newer version of MacOS (ie Big Sur) which I presume is compatible with Cubase 12 no?

I will try installing Big Sur first.

Oh, sorry for my error.
I indeed bought Cubase on version 11, thats why i could use the sx version then.
Thanks @steve

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Hello @steve,

one more question, i have an 11 Artist License and upgraded to 12 Pro, can i use for example 10.5 Pro or just the Artist Version?

Thx for reply!

You can use Artist as well. Hold down alt/opt during Cubase startup.

The license you upgraded from is not relevant by the way. It’s very simple, there is only one type of permanent retail license for any given product, so where you came from be it Cubase 1 or 11, your license is for the Cubase 12 series.