AD1865 based NOS DAC

I recently built a very simple NOS DAC with 8 TDA1543's in it. In comparing it to my Cary 303/200, the Cary is clearly better in every regard except for one, which is that I find the Cary fatiguing to listen to. Its performance is simply too refined -- like driving a ferrari everywhere. On the other hand, I like to listen to the NOS one. It seems simple and natural.

I would like to build something that ups the NOS performance, but retains the magic of it. Looking around, I was thinking about a CS8414 -> AD1865 chip. This is, of course, the design of the Audio Note DAC Kit.

My question is whether as an inexperienced builder I could possibly make something equal to the Audio Note? Obviously I can see the AN schematic on line, and thus my real question is whether I am better off building a similar digital section with my own I/V section (perhaps just something passive), or whether the magic of the AN design is in the I/V and analog stages and thus I should build one of their kits and tweak from there (there is nothing that novel about their digital circuit, but I would rather buy their kit than copy the whole project.) Thanks for any thoughts.

-d