Help needed to diagnose preamp channel unbalance.

Hello all. The preamp is a new dual mono linestage with both balanced and single-ended connections. The volume control is an Alps motorized pot. There is no balance control, just a single stereo volume control.

The problem is that at low volumes, there is a channel mismatch resulting in the right channel being noticeably louder than the left. The problem was confirmed to be with the preamp through cable/channel swapping and listening with matched channel test CD's. Correct phase was also confirmed. When the volume is increased to moderate levels, the left channel seems to come fully on-line so that proper balance is restored. This is obviously an unacceptable situation for low level listening.

Has anyone had a similar problem? Is this likely a tracking problem with the volume pot? Is it possible this will improve as the electrical components and volume pot break in, since the preamp is new with only about 15 hours on it? - Thanks
It is almost certain to be the volume control has a problem.
As 'new', I would expect it to not have that problem. Either return it for another one, or get the volume control replaced. (sending it back and they tell you thier is no problem is going to be another problem.)
Waiting is not going to fix the problem. (It may become less noticable, but will never go away.
My two cents.
Is it a tube preamp? I have had this happen when tubes are way missmatched. Just like you said, at low volumes the sound was allot louder in one channel. At higher volume the sound tended to even out.
It's a very common problem that potentiometers don't track well at the lower end of the range.

In what position do you have that problem (8 o'clock)? what is the loudest position you can crank it up to?
The control goes from about 7:30-8 o'clock (lowest) to about 4:30-5 o'clock (highest). The problem begins to go away at about 9 o'clock, so it occurs at the lower settings, during low level (everyone else in bed) listening levels. I had some balanced Endlers laying around (-10 dB) as well as some balanced DIY in-line attenuators (using Vishay's) that I had used with a preamp years ago. Using these gain reducing devices in-line pushes the volume control up into the range where it tracks well, even at lower volumes. Of course, as Elizabeth suggests, my solution will be to work this out with the seller. In response to 6550c, it is a SS pre. Thanks all.
Return it!Why keep a lemon?
what is an Endler?
If the volume control is discrete resistor based, then its one of the following possible scenarios:

Cathode and plate resistor mismatch between the channels.
(no, tube mismatch wont affect gain unless the cathode is grounded and you are using a biased grid)

negative feedback resistor mismatch or broken

B+ completely off (I mean it has to be off by some 20%) on one channel vs the other.

But if its just a cheapie "alps" or more likely Chinese counterfeit alps, then its the volume pot.

Is an Alps volume control considered the cheap way? I can't count how many glossy preamp adds mention the use of high quality part like Alps.

BTW, my tube preamp is balanced with multipule gain stages and the tubes are biased by transistors (i think) - 6 tubes in all. So, if I put a JJ in one socket and an EH in the other, it plays loudner in one channel for a while then it seams to balance out. (The EH 6922 is louder). Maybe something else is wrong too?
6550c, an Endler is an in-line adjustable attenuator, basically a discrete resistor attenuator. I actually mis-posted there (it was late) and I meant to say an Rothwell, which is an in-line fixed resistor attenuator which some use to adjust (reduce) gain, primarily when CD players have too high an output for a (usually older tubed) preamp. I have a set of Rothwells and also a pair of in-line fixed attenuators I made using Vishay resistors. Both reduce the gain enough to put even low level listening up into the correctly tracking portion of the volume control. However, my fix will be to have it fixed or replaced.

Unfortunately, manufacturers are still using relatively inexpensive Alps pots in expensive preamps because they are the easiest way to implement a remote volume control. IMO a discrete resistor volume control is the way to go, sonically. I am tempted to install a DACT attenuator which uses SMD resistors. Apparently, there are some folks who have figured out how to put a motor on them and set them up for remote, but I do not believe DACT themselves have done that yet.
Alps volume is like "Vishay resistors"
They have different grades, starting at a few bucks each.
Chinese amps have "alps motorized volume pots",
probably made by the same people who make fake gucci handbags.

6550Cs problem is likely the preamp has a grounded cathode and grid-biased using a constant voltage reference. In which case your gain is at the mercy of the gm of your particular tube, so matching is essential.

Counterpoint SA-3.1 and SA-5 are examples of preamps with grid biased with negative power.
So replace the volume control already :) this is a classic volume control-related symptom. Nothing to do with tubes...