I would check all the cables and replace any old or out dated generation cables to the latest standards (ie. changing all CAT5e ethernet cables to CAT8 ethernet cables), which should help to reduce and minimize cross-talk or EMI/RFI interference that I would imagine is part of the problem, but i would guess that it isn't the only problem. Switching to the newest standards in cabling usually also provides a substantial boost in maintaining signal strengths/full capabilities at extended lengths of wire (greater than 50 feet for example).I'm primarily a video guy, but am helping a friend troubleshoot an aging system in place at a sport's bar and am a bit stumped. The equipment is mostly 15-20 years old.
Here's the setup for audio:
10 sources feed into a matrix switcher with 3 outputs (different rooms). Each output goes into an amp, and then a distribution box that feeds the speakers in each room.
5 of the sources are DirectTV boxes, 3 are cable boxes, 1 is an aux cord, and 1 is a Sonos system. The 3 cable boxes pass through pre-amps, none of the other sources do.
The problem is that certain sources will occasionally cut out and not play through some or all of the outputs. It's never all the sources at the same time. It seems to happen most often with the DirectTV sources, but also occasionally with the others.
Because it's an issue with specific sources and outputs, my first instinct was that it must be an issue with the matrix switcher, but I just replaced that and the problem persists.
My next guess is to trim and rewire all the wire connections (although they look to be in good condition). Another clue I have is that the problem seems to be sometimes fixed temporarily by shaking the amps and distribution boxes... But it doesn't make sense to me that an issue within the amp could affect only certain sources...
Any help or insight here would be much appreciated!
Any cabling you decide to not replace, I strongly suggest you clean the connectors and connections of each with Dioxit (red color liquid) and Dioxit Gold (gold color liquid).
Next I would check those cable boxes, the SONOS system, and any semi modern electronic equipment and update their firmware or software, at least seek out in seeing if there are any firmware updates that are free in cost and relatively easy to update and implement.
Next I would focus on the matrix switcher and clean that with dioxit/check for any loose connections or loose solder joints / power plug solder joints.
Next I would check the distribution box, and turn off the power to the building and clean that with Dioxit.
If this all fails then by then I would look into spending real money and buying new equipment that will consolidate and condense your friends network of devices into less devices that are more manageable in size and in thought process.