I've had the pot replaced in my DAC1 for that reason and the problem appeared again after a year. A common problem indeed.
Here it's only at the beginning of the day so i just quickly jog the dial until it stops crackling and it remains quiet the rest of the day of use.
I can live with that rather than adding another unit to the monitor path.
Best way probably is to replace the potmeter with a better type??
mmm ... should ask Benchmark about that.
(sorry i know it's not an answer to your question)
No, it doesn't get worse (yet).
I had the first one replaced after 2 years of which half a year crackling approx.
Then this new one started to crackle after a year and a half also. Has been like this for 4 years now without getting worse though. And the trick works for the rest of the day.