That's all you got from ~USD$700?
I don't know the full details, but I'd imagine Project-IA is just another chipamp/gainclone/whatever.
You should have just bought a damn LM3886 kit for $30 on ebay, slap on some large heatsinks, and add whatever DAC shenanigans you want, and then buy a basic Stax kit with the change.
Yeah, development is expensive, and I need to buy components In bulk.
I'll bet P-IA performs better that some random $30 kit.
I did some measurements a while back.
And that kit probably didn't have a case nor a power supply.