Well here's the result - after half and hour of not playing music but leaving the system on (I just stopped the music playing on Daphile which uses the LMS engine) - the DAC had still not charged enough to remove distortion. But after leaving the system on for about an hour and a half the DAC was charged enough to play cleanly. Christophe Mariac thinks that this old Lenovo S10-3 netbook of mine is not providing enough charge to top up the batteries while playing - from his words "Yes the DAC can power from USB, and charge and keep the batteries topped from USB alone. However, it need quite a bit of current (in the 400mA region)" - so I can only assume that this netbook via USB is not providing enough current which would be the logical conclusion. I still have further questions for Christophe - but I want to keep this DAC as it "does" sound very good indeed - but I cannot have it being an operational pain. My perfect solution would be to have the music playing continuously without ever running out of charge by way of a USB connection to computer - so I guess this old Lenovo S10-3 doesn't have enough current and I have to find a computer that does. Shame as the netbook has served me well otherwise.