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When the volume control is adjusted it sends a signal to a small black box called an IC. This adjust the levels and power going to the main amp of the unit. The IC can be found by tracing the wiring from the volume control back to a printed circuit board.
I think the problem will be somekind of audio IC that controls volume and other aspects of the sound has failed. Not a job for an amateur to fix as it will almost certainly involve the desoldering and refitting of multi-pin microchip. I would take it to your nearest Sony Service center.
If the volume control can be turned continuously in either direction (no stopping), then the control is what is called an encoder and the behavior you are describing is an internal logic failure. If the control has an upper and lower limit (only turns so far), then it is a standard volume control and is physically broken and needs to be replaced. In either case, the unit should be under warranty. Return it to Best Buy for repair. Given that it just came out of the box, talk to a manager and request an exchange.
the volume control needs to be cleaned. this control is a step switch basicly. and the switch contacts are not making proper contact. cleaning this requires dis-assembly and desoldering so if you are inclined to do this work happy fixing if not it shouldn't cost much to fix.
This sounds like a case of a dirty/defective rotary encoder. The volume control used here is not the conventional potentiometer type , but a rotary set of switches that tell the sytem if the knob is being turned left ot right.
Do you think you'd be able to open the unit and spray some contact cleaner into the rotary encoder? It might involve dis-assembling it down to front bezel removal.