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I hope this has not been discussed before - search did not bring up useful information.... I need your help - I'm starting to get into deep and terribly unknown water. I am planning on changing/upgrading my computer to something new(er), maybe back to something sophisticated/built by me instead of my current Off-The-Shelf Mac Mini. I am running a NAD M51 via USB from the mentioned Computer. A week or two ago I taped the 5v pin on my USB cable and confirmed to myself that the NAD M51 is properly running without the 5v line being connected to a computer. Neither for start/handshake nor playing. That is good! As per Data sheet the NAD M51 is asynchronous, just as a reminder/info. Now, This got me thinking - I know, mostly that's dangerous ;-) I can perfectly relate to the technical aspects that besides proper 5v power to a USB receiver and grounding issues there is also ripple and signal quality on the data lines to be concerned about. And, for systems depending on the senders clock accuracy, the USB Clock. These aspects have been put into place by several products. Example SotM USB Card: -Possibility of proper 5v power -Good (assumption - type/brand unknown) USB clock -Filters on PCI-E connection -Filters and good regulation for used components Since the NAD M51 obviously does not need 5v from the USB bus, and, since it is running in asynchronous mode, does a "specialty" USB card like SotM or PPA even improve something? If I interpreted all the schemas and design documents correctly, then I think not. Same question goes for devices like iFi iUSB Power and similar. Concerning the USB cards this also extends to linear PSU or battery PSU as further optimization. Conclusion / long story short: In respect to my setup - Computer connected to NAD M51 via USB whose 5v line has been completely blocked - do any of the well known sophisticated USB cards/addons and devices deliver better/cleaner signal or other improvements compared to simple on-board USB connections? And if so, could I ask you to explain why? Thanks in advance - let's rumble ;-)