Help! Uniti Atom Volume wheel won't turn up or down

Hey all,
it’s been a while since my last post here and i must say that since then, listening music through my Atom has been a breeze so far.
However, while i was listening to music yesterday, I woke up from may couch to turn the volume up a bit, something i don’t usually do since in 99% of the time, i simply use my iPhone or iPad to browse my music library or set the volume to my taste. Yesterday then, i was chocked as I realized that the volume knob won’t physically rotate clockwise nor even in the reverse direction. It really felt like it was stucked and won’t turn at all more than just a few degrees up or down. For example with volume set at 15 i could only turn the volume up to 17 or down to 15 again, not more.
And yet, whether watching tv or listening to music, or any other source, i could still set the volume to any level using whether the app or the physical remote, and the ring surrounding the volume knob is still illuminated. But it still refuses to rotate, and i could feel that underneath, there was great resistance when trying to rotate in one direction or the other.
I’m now really worried. The unit has never been moved since first install, i’m living alone here and have no kids around who could mess up with it. So far, apart from the usual and know quirks with the naim app and software of the unit, it has always operated flawlessly since day one, from a physical perspective.
As i did not want to force the knob risking even more damage, I just decided to let it as is, filed a support request to both my dealer and the French Focal Support services here in France. The latter sent me back a request ticket confirming that they’ve received my support request and that processing time may take longer than usual as they’re migrating their own ERP system. When i contacted my reseller this morning he told me that Focal argued the same while they were still waiting for a RMA reference to be communicated to them for kits the dealer want to send back for repairs for 3 weeks now. In other words, this could take days if not weeks before anyone get back to me.

And it’s really frustrating, as even though the volume can still be set from the remote or the app, my unit is now not operating as intended. Now, i wonder whether anyone here experience such an issue with the volume knob of an Atom, Star or Nova?
Do you guys know whether for such an issue my unit should be set out to Salisbury to Naim or will Focal handle the repair ? I’m even wondering if such an issue can be repaired in the first place? That’s the first time I experience this kind of issue. I have a second Atom and a Nova in two other rooms, bought same time as the first unit, working without any issue at all and the volume wheels on those never failed to respond and work just like they did in day One.
Any idea, what could be the culprit here? The weirdest thing is that most of the time i don’t interact with the volume knob itself, i just use the app or the remote. And yet yesterday, i could for sure feel “physical resistance” when trying to turn the knob and it remained almost dead stucked in its position.
I’m clueless and feel helpless here and very frustrated :worried::worried:

Yeah that is clearly not normal. Either something is broken or something got in the mechanism.

As it is all electronic volume adjustment, the LEDs will keep responding when setting the volume via remote or app even if there is an issue with the mechanism.

I have had the dubious honour of seeing my Star opened by my dealer. The volume control is totally separate and attached with a ribbon cable. So when they do get to the repair it will be painless. That said don’t try and open it yourself out of frustration as the ribbon cable is very delicate and any damage to that will break the unit properly.

I know how the mind works when you know something is wrong but for 99% of your listening it will remain unchanged till this can be fixed. Try and focus on that :grinning:

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Have you tried unplugging everything from it and inverting it to check whether something has fallen down into the clearance around the knob that may be preventing it from turning?

Maybe some dirt got into the gap, apparently a grain of sugar can already cause noise, like here, fixed by turning it upside down and vacuuming:

Yes, Richard, I have carefully checked that and nothing has fallen down around the knob. I suspect something happening in the box itself. I could feel clear resistance when attempting to move the knob up or down and i just let. At first I thought it was a software issue and i’ve power-cycled the unit twice, but it’s the knob itself that is physically blocked. I didn’t want to damage it further so I just left it as it is. Other than that, the Atom continues to work as normal. But I still think i should get it repaired as soon as possible. But days if not weeks could pass before Focal respond to my query.

I think that is a very sensible move; I’ll certainly not attempt to open it without a clue on what to do next step. I guess i just have to wait for my dealer or Focal to come back to me with a return number. But it’s so frustrating, even more so 'cause I almost never touch the unit itself, no need since i have a remote and the app. Just very frustrating. And i just clean it with a fluffy Swipper dust remover from time to time. The Atom sits on a massive wooden rack 3 meters from my listening spot, so I can’t imagine having crumbs or other things falling down around the knob. and plus, there is no kid here. I’m just clueless about the cause for this here.

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Maybe a bug crawled in and got stuck without your help :slightly_smiling_face:

:grin: thanks for making me smile,
don’t see how, the whole unit seems completely sealed, and i guess purposefully so.

Glad it made you feel a little bit better. It’s surely an odd thing. I’ve never inspected the wheel closely, but in the other thread at least some sugar got into the mechanism. I hope it gets sorted without too much hassle

There is definitely some space for dust or particles to get in. But I would be curious about what could get through that gap to make it feel like it is stuck! And like you I would certainly not be forcing anything beyond what feels comfortable.

Good news out of personal experience is that Naim’s support is great so it will be fixed. And while you wait you can still do just about everything you always did!

that’s definitely true, thank you so much to all.
While I’ve always thought that that clearance around the knob was a dust magnet, when i checked yesterday it was really clean.
I really do hope that my dealer, who has always been fantastic and very helpful throughout the years, will be able to help me really quick. In the meantime, you’re absolutely right, i’ll continue to use the Atom using the app and remote. I’m just worried about the time required for getting it fixed, from sending the kit to the dealer or to Focal and then having it back. Might take a while. But it’s not like i havent got other ways to listen to my music, i’ll use my other kits in the meantime.
My dealer confirmed he received my query and they’ll contact me shortly to proceed further.
I fully trust naim support service. I know they’ll do their best, but just like you mentioned, my mind is playing tricks on me, and i feel a bit frustrated, even though i’m well aware there’s worse in life than material stuff that get broken. Finger crossed :crossed_fingers:

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My dealer dropped off their demo Star when mine had to go in. Don’t think that is standard service but if they don’t offer something like that I’d at least ask.

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