I would say it was either the jumpers were misplaced, or he had the speaker selector switches turned off. There's no reason any of the other stuff (ie power strip, sub, etc) would make a difference.
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I had this receiver for 5 years with Bose 901 speaker setup. Bought a replacement that was identical. After hookup there is NO sound from any speakers, Bose 901 or Speaker 2, regular, also no sound from headphones. Went through factory reset. Did switch Spkr 1, Spkr 1+2, Spkr 2 - same result. BUT I do have a wireless AR speaker that when plugged into Tape-out jack plays just fine. I tried completely disconnecting the Bose 901 amplifier unit - no difference. Tape Mon switch on or off doesn't make a difference. Mute is not on.
I had Bose 901 amp plugged into pre-out and amp-out and after disconnecting to see if that was the problem I did not put jumpers back. Could that make the difference? If so, can someone tell me where the Bose 901 speaker amp should be plugged into the HK? I forget where I used to have it in the previous unit (should have taken a photo of back before disconnecting everything).