Sigh. Fiscal responsibility my ass. New things are inbound. The plan is thus:
Meizu MX >> micro USB to mini USB cable >> Matrix USB SPDIF converter >> coaxial cable >> FiiO E17
It's a proof of concept. If it works (and it should), then I'd bet a single-cable solution of 6" or less is possible if I can find someone handy enough for the task. Thanks a lot Head-Fi.