Scott, the wood is really not that hard to remove. Lift the carpet insert in the console well. You will see a screw (phillips) at the base of the wood panel. Unscrew and remove. Remove the black plastic surround from the shift console (pry it up with a small screwdriver). Put the shifter in neutral and from the back edge, gently lift the wood trim upward. If the window switches or rear window lockout switch stick to the wood, gently push them back towards the console. I really think your fader is messed up. Mine was intermittent after a beverage spill. I tried to clean it out. Sound was intermittent and scratchy no matter what. Replaced the fader. Problem solved.. My approach to life is to eliminate the simple stuff first. Even if the fader is not messed up, with coffee in there, it will get worse. If you wanted to experiment, dribble some WD-40 in around the fader wheel and run it back and forth a few times. I'll bet the sound will get better..
2000 Dodge Grand Caravan SE