Digital Out vs. USB

When using the digital out on a soundcard allow the card to process the signal in any way? Or are you getting the same data stream that would come from USB.

I am wanting to run FLAC files from Foobar straight out to the DAC. If I can skip the USB and use the digital out I can greatly increase my options with regard to DACs.
Yes, you can set the digital output on a sound card to be "direct", which should be bit-for-bit the data stream that is in the FLAC file.
You might want to take a look at the HagUSB. It's what I use, after years of searching. I use it with several DACs and can very highly recommend it. It sells for $120.00 from Hagerman Tech.

1. Small
2. USB Powered
3. USB to SPDIF Coaxial
4. Bit-For-Bit

Hope this helps! Thanks!
Just one caution about HagUSB. It supports only 16-bit/44.1k or 48k signal. It won't work for 24/96k. Other than that, it is a great product.
Thanks for all the input. I might try both options--it will give me a lot to play with.

You've got to love finding a solid component that only costs a buck fifty.
Trends UD-10 should also be considered as a highly regarded inexpensive "USB audio converter". It also has a battery charger kit option.