Some pictures of old Steinberg hardware


here are some pictures of “old” Steinberg hardware. We will post some more later, and with additional information of the hardware.




Is the big rack unit Topaz, the Hard disk recording system? around 1988?

Don’t ask me why I know that, it’s just too sad…

Hello David,

yes, that is the Topaz. In the attachment you will see some info about it. the text is in German only.



thanks Chris!

If you can spare the time for a rough translation, I’d be very interested… my Deutsch is atrocious…

I can work out the price - 2 Mb RAM and 350 Mb Hard disk for DM55000 with Mac and DM39000 without…

AIUI when the Euro came in, the rate was about 1 Euro = 1.95 DM… so Topaz would have cost around 18000 Euro without the computer? Actually that was quite cheap for the time - I remember looking at the ADR Sound Maestro stereo editing system, which ran on an Atari ST at a price of £25k - that would have been about £38k Euro…

Totally unofficial, of course:

"_TOPAZ/hdr 23000 (1988)

TOPAZ is primarily a hard disk recording system which works in conjunction with an Apple Mac II computer. It’s possible to store recordings on the standard 360MB harddisk. TOPAZ can be expanded to operate up to 16 tracks. The above-mentioned price of 35,000 DM is for a 2-track unit. A fully expanded TOPAZ therefore comes in at around 280,000 Deutschmark! The related control software permits time compression, one equaliser (3-band) per track and level and pan control.

According to Steinberg, with a 360MB harddisk and at a sample frequency of 32kHz, TOPAZ records a total of 84 minutes (60 minutes at 48kHz). Data backup to a tape streamer is also possible. By the way, ex-PPG mastermind Wolfgang Palm was involved in the development of TOPAZ.

TOPAZ has two analogue inputs and outputs, all timecode synchronisation formats, MIDI as well as a digital AES/EBU interface. Up to 4 hours of stereo can be recorded. Optical and MOD drives can be used in place of the harddisk.

TOPAZ is housed in a sturdy rack case (6U, quite deep). The system is configured as 2-channel or single-channel stereo. Up to 8 devices can be cascaded for multi-track operation. The A/D converters operate with a resolution of 16 bit. Every TOPAZ unit has 8 DSPs available with fixed functions:

  1. Beginning and end of the recording
  2. Volume
  3. Panorama
  4. Playback speed
  5. Pitch
  6. Time correction
  7. Parametric 3-band equaliser
  8. High- and low-pass filters

    TOPAZ was also available in a pure digital version without A/D and D/A converters. From 1989 on, TOPAZ was equipped with faster backup media, whereby video cassettes were employed in place of the tape streamers used up to that time. On a price list in 1989 one could find the following: (with 2MB RAM and 320MB harddisk) with monitor and host computer (Macintosh) for 55,000 DM, also without computer and monitor for 39,000 DM._"

what is the model of that huge red midi interface? looks about the same size as a Mega ST.


That’s a Mac MIDI II S MIDI interface.