It could also be corrosion on the volume control or a bad capacitor in the preamp.
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Mingus- I believe the VK3 (I know my 3i) uses a digital volume control and so the dirty/dusty mechanical pot is not an issue here. Sorry but I can't help you track down the actual source except to note that BAT's customer service is second to none, even on pieces bought used. Call or email, and you'll probably get an answer same day.
Mingus- The problem your having is a common one. If its asignal or D.C. (Voltage Controled I.C.)attenuator it has a build up of carbon, dust and or dirt. Best remedy is to clean it with,listed in order of perference, Caig deoxit red or LPS#2. Do not use your local stores tunercleaner. All can be had at www.mcmelectronics.com or 18005434330.