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A 2014 Chevy Silverado gets a Kicker audio upgrade

The Kicker VSS™ Powerstage™ enhances the sound of the factory audio gear

By

Dave Delamere

Dave was born in Buffalo, NY, but spent the majority of his life in central and northern Virginia. He began his collegiate career at Virginia Tech, but completed his education with a degree in teaching from Radford University. His Crutchfield career began in 1997 as a Sales Advisor. His father had been a satisfied Crutchfield customer since the '80s, and when Dave saw the job opening, he knew it could be a good thing. In 2013, the Crutchfield creative staff grew tired of the corrections and suggestions Dave always threw their way, so they decided to give bring him on as a copywriter for the mobile electronics division.

When not dealing with these corrections and suggestions, Dave enjoys watching and playing ice hockey. Cooking intrigues him, although cleaning up after does not. Movies, music, and art take him away. Crime and forensic shows bring him back. History makes him pause. His interest in electronics stems from fond memories of making mix tapes from vinyl, radio, and the newest format at the time, the compact disc.

More from Dave Delamere

Silverado truck shot

Kicker's VSS™ Powerstage™ system enables you to keep the stock look and feel you're accustomed to, but upgrades the clarity and impact of your factory's audio system. With the Powerstage, you keep your factory radio and speakers, but add Kicker-caliber components to energize the system: a digital signal processor, an amplifier, and a subwoofer. Combined, they clean up the output from the factory radio, deliver a more powerful signal to your factory speakers, and add the bass that’s missing from the factory sound.

The best part of the system is that it’s all in a custom installation package that was designed specifically for the 2014 Chevy and GMC Crew Cab. Having vehicle-specific wiring connectors that just plug into the Chevy’s wiring and custom-fit mounting brackets simplified the installation and shortened the time required to get the job done.

2014 Chevy Silverado dash layout

The Silverado's dash layout looks great, so some owners may not want to change the look but still want better sound.

Installing the Kicker VSS Powerstage system

Step 1. The installation of the Powerstage system really followed the trail of the factory wiring, so we began at the radio. Once we removed the thin factory radio faceplate, we gained access to the wiring connections we needed.

2014 Silverado and Wire Worm

A Wire Worm helped guide the wires behind the dash.

Kicker's creation of the "plug and play" wiring connectors meant that there was no cutting or splicing of the factory wires. Once connected, we used a Pro.Fit Wire Worm to fish the wire behind the dash panel on its way to the amp location.

Step 2. We installed the DSP/amp module under the dash on the driver's side. It included attached brackets designed to work with existing bolts under the Chevy's dash.

Kicker SoundGate 2014 Silverado DSP/amp

Our installer mounting the DSP/amp module under the driver's side dash.

The DSP/amp was mounted close to the grommet in the Silverado's firewall, which proved convenient for routing the power cables to the vehicle's battery in the engine compartment.

Step 3. We routed the power cable through the grommet, secured it to existing bundled cable with cable ties, and secured it to the battery terminal.

2014 Silverado Kicker SoundGate wiring

Running the SubStage wiring along the door frame

Then we moved back to the DSP/amp location, where we continued to run Kicker's wiring to the SubStage subwoofer location. After removing the trim in the door frame, we tucked the wiring inside the channel on its way to the back of the Silverado.

Step 4. Once the wiring reached the subwoofer location, it was time to mount the subwoofer. Kicker included custom brackets on the sub enclosure, so it bolted directly to the rear seat braces. The low-profile enclosure fit perfectly underneath the seat, so you won't lose leg room.

Kicker SubStage for 2014 Silverado

The Kicker SubStage subwoofer fit under the seat and pumped out strong bass.

Conclusion Kicker opens the gate to great sound

While cables had to be routed througout the cab interior and in the engine compartment, Kicker's Powerstage simply plugged into the Silverado's factory plugs. And once it was in, we checked out a few tracks we had listened to on the factory system before the installation. We noticed much better stereo separation, a wider soundstage, and a tight, strong bass response from the sub — all without replacing the factory radio and speakers.

Check out our OutfitMyCar™ tool to see if there are any factory upgrade systems available for your vehicle, and feel free to contact our advisors if you have any questions about improving your system.

Last updated May 02, 2016
  • Bill Ventura from Minnesota

    Posted on 5/15/2015 3:25:03 PM

    I purchased the Kenwood 6990HD from you for a 2012 Ford F150 of which I removed the maestro integration and head-unit from after trade-in, thinking to mount it into my new 2015 Silverado regular cab truck. The Chevy system lacks navigation supplied previously from the Kenwood, of which I miss; but, the integrations with the HVAC controls and OnStar functions along with a barely adequate audio system leads towards the Powerstage, retaining the factory controls with OnStar and great SD slot and Bluetooth functioning, but still leaves me without navigation. I put this bemoaning to you with two caveats, one does this pricy Powerstage unit use speaker level inputs, (old school thinking would reject this sub-standard solution) and will the sub box fit between or under the factory seating in a standard cab truck? The description of the unit on your web site doesn't answer those questions? The obvious choice for a less discriminating driver would be to add an on a dash mounted Garmin and the digital processing unit described with the Powerstage, but your solutions on the Ford with Sync was great, what do you say to my dilemma with the Chevy. Can the video output for the Chevy factory features somehow be integrated into the Kenwood or other head unit?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/18/2015 12:57:40 PM

    Bill, there isn't a Powerstage option for your regular cab. However, you should give our powered subs a look. Many will fit your vehicle and really enhance the sound. In regards to your Kenwood receiver, that unit will fit your vehicle with some modification to the internal cavity of the sub-dash. That's something Tech Support can help you with since you purchased that unit from us. We can also equip you with the proper installation hardware for this new vehicle.

  • Justin

    Posted on 11/15/2015 6:11:14 PM

    Where do i connect the wires if i have a bose system

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/16/2015 12:29:17 PM

    Justin, if you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.

  • drew from bellflower

    Posted on 11/23/2015 9:53:33 PM

    What size are the dashboard speakers and do all the door speakers need that spacer insert like the 6x9 in the front and the 6 1/2 rear door?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/24/2015 7:42:46 AM

    Drew, the factory dash speakers are 2-3/4". If you install tweeters in that location, you'll need to get creative in your mounting to have a secure fit. As far as the front doors go, yes, you will need a bracket with any compatible 6-1/2" or 6-3/4" as well, but if you purchase from us, we'll include everything you need for installation.

  • Jameson from Maysville

    Posted on 2/21/2016 4:21:24 PM

    Im considering the Kicker PSICRE07 for a 2014 Chevy 2500 Crew Cab. I have a Weathertech full length and width matt in the back.it covers completely under the rear seat. Will this mat fit under the sub enclosure or will it need to be trimmed? I would hate to cut such and expensive floor mat.

  • Dereck Ray from Houston

    Posted on 2/22/2016 9:58:11 PM

    I am wondering what is the power output for the factory radio and how much gain can i get from the kicker vss with the boost for the factory speakers ......

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/23/2016 12:29:47 PM

    Dereck, we don't have the specifics on the factory radio output, but generally, factory radios put out roughly 5-10 watts. Kicker customizes each VSS PowerStage system, taking into consideration factory system specs and vehicle cabin dimensions for a specific vehicle, so that you can seriously improve your factory audio. In the case of the 2014-up Chevy Silverado, Kicker gives you up to 50 watts RMS to drive four factory speakers. Between the built-in DSP and major power jump, you'll hear a big improvement in audio performance. If you have questions about a Kicker VSS for your vehicle, give our advisors a call at the number above.

  • maurice simpson from sherman

    Posted on 3/1/2016 11:08:06 PM

    Do ya'll have a wiring harnes to just plug in to my factory radio and factor wiring to had a amp 2 a 2014 chevy 1500 crew cab

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/2/2016 11:05:58 AM

    Maurice, we don't have a harness like you're describing. The Kicker VSS Powerstage system is customized for certain Silverados and will give you that level of installation convenience. You can use our vehicle selector to confirm if the Powerstage system will work with your vehicle as well as see other options.

  • Duffy O'Rourke from Littleton

    Posted on 3/13/2016 3:43:10 PM

    Can I make the kicker box part number 19111205 work with my Bose system? If so do I have to buy separate wire harness?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/14/2016 8:19:44 AM

    Duffy, we'd need a bit more information about your vehicle to answer that question. Find out more about you vehicle using our vehicle selector, or give us a call.

  • Josh Kicklighter from Charleston

    Posted on 5/15/2016 3:57:14 PM

    Will this system upgrade improve the sound quality when playing audio through Bluetooth. I don't know what it is about factory components, but the sound quality while playing through Bluetooth is no where near as good as other sources. Definitely not as loud.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/17/2016 12:13:47 PM

    Josh, a wired connection from your phone or music player will typically sound better than streaming audio via Bluetooth. Bluetooth uses compression to transfer data from your phone to your receiver, and as a result, some musical information is lost in the transfer. If you're interested in better-sounding Bluetooth, you'll get the best results using an aptX-equipped phone and receiver.

  • Gully from Jackson, mo

    Posted on 5/23/2016 3:14:59 PM

    Would like to install this system in my non Bose 2014 Silverado but I do have powered pedals. Is there a work around such a different mounting location fir the amp unit or is it a wiring issue also involving the pedal adjust button on the dash?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/24/2016 4:35:58 PM

    Gully, our research does not recommend Kicker's VSS Powerstage system for your truck based on that information. If you're looking for a workaround, your best bet would be to contact Kicker directly at (405) 624-8583 and consult with their Tech Department first.


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