Thanks for the great detail miroslav! I'm going to attempt taking it apart because I've got nothing to lose at this point. I'll probably try re-seating the cards to see if that fixes the meter issue and then move on from there. Yes I have all the original manuals and the service manual.
I remember reading those old Cubase newsletters so I bet I read your article. In fact I think I just threw out my copies a couple of months ago. Went to the old Steinberg HQ a couple of times back in the day when it was a converted house in the San Fernando Valley. I too miss those old Cubase/Atari days. You're right, it was a very efficient setup and I really liked the old b/w Cubase, I could get around that thing really fast. Didn't even have a hard drive, just booted off the floppy.
I'll post back to this thread if I run into any issues with the deck. Thanks again.