cheap usb converter making awful pops, help please

To try out computer-based audio, I bought the cheapest USB to DAC converter (just a Coaxial out) that I could find. It will not play anything that I've downloaded without a constant barrage of unacceptable digital artifacts in the form of pops and clicks that make it unusable. (It was purchased on ebay from one of those anonymous Chinese dealers and came in a box labeled "Ha Info," I saw no relevant negative feedback, not that that means anything.)

Anyway, it's fed into a cheap (I know!) DAC that I've never had any problems with. The device is the default audio playback device and is supposed to be simply plug and play.

I'm hoping this device has some electrical fault causing this problem. Does anyone have any opinions, as I've recently purchased a (hopefully) better device here on audiogon (the Trends Audio ud 10.1...I use a Trend Audio amp and my system has always worked well) and am hoping it is simply the device itself and not something stupid I've overlooked or cannot easily rectify, as I am truly a newbie in this realm.

Any opinions or advice would really help put my mind at ease, one way or the other, as I have a load of excellent tunes downloaded, way more than I could ever burn to CD.

Thanks to everyone/anyone.
Buy a M2Tech hiFace usb>spdif adapter- $150
I agree with 4est. The reviews are solid - mine is on order.
thanks for the suggestions, but i'm trying to figure out if the unit is at fault or whether its some setting or limitation of the computer or perhaps something else. One 'goner suggested it might have something to do with the computer's buffer not being turned on, though i haven't had a chance to check into this.

thanks again for any speculations. and if you need more details about the computer, just let me know and i'll try to provide them.
Sounds like you are locking in and out on the digital signal...this does cause pops and clicks.

Maybe the usb cable?...or the digital cable?

I ran into a similar problem when I went the server route. I don't know what computer you're using, but it could be this:

I purchased an Apple Mini. I also heard artifacts, or "distortion". Turns out, my EQ was turned on on the computer. Worse still, the preamp section was turned almost all the way up to +9db. WAY too much output. If this is the case, turn the output to "0" and turn the EQ off completely.

Good luck.
Substandard equipment almost always produces substandard sound.Just a thought.
thank you all very much. i will try to adjust the computer. i am determined to be the cheapest cheapskate audiophile on the planet.
Well, now I've installed the Trends Audio 10.1 UD USB converter, in place of the no-name Chinese unit mentioned in my OP, and the computer is still generating the exact same pops and clicks. Could it be the buffer? BTW, the computer is a Dell Inspiron 8500 running Windows XP (2002 version).

The Trends may not be the "best equipment" either, but I don't think that is the issue, since it is reproducing the same problem that the prior USB converter was. And I've never heard anyone complain about the Trends causing this problem before.

For that matter, I've never found a post of anyone complaining about this particular issue with a USB converter, though I would not be surprised if they were out there.

In any case, I would surely appreciate your advice or other help.

Thanks as always.

BTW, the rest of the system is a set of Tekton Design single-driver speakers, Trends Audio amp, and Superpro DAC, which have always performed quite well together.
I have a Trends and it sounds fine. Have you tried something like Foobar music player with it's ASIO plugin installed?

If not, give it a try. That is what I was using when I last used USB<>S/PDIF conversion, and Windows XP....(pretty good sound quality, and no noise)

I have been using an HRT MusicStreamer for over a year and it has never misbehaved. Not expensive either.

thanks for the info. i'll give foobar a try.
No, foobar didn't improve the situation, though it seems like a really nice player. I gather everyone here is stumped as to what it might be??

Tis sad, tis much music, so many intolerable cracks, pops, and skips...