Upgrade your car's sound
...without replacing the factory stereo
Buck Pomerantz was born and raised in Philadelphia. His parents bought their first television set when he was born. He figured out how to run it by the time he was two. Besides athletics, his formative interests included electronics, amateur radio, music, and stage crew work. He got his BA in writing from Brown University. Then he joined a rock 'n roll band as their soundman and moved to Charlottesville, Virginia. After that venture failed, he spent time in Boston, New Orleans, and Berkeley. He worked in a music store in Austin manufacturing, installing, repairing, and operating sound systems for recording studios, clubs, and bands. He moved back to Charlottesville, ran a little recording studio and finally joined Crutchfield as a copywriter. He has 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren, but after a good nap he can still rock out.
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Sometimes, you just have to leave the factory stereo in place.
Factory stereo systems leave a lot to be desired. They’re often programmed with equalization (EQ) curves that compensate for the system’s lack of power by reducing the level of the bass, for instance. And because the speakers are all located at different distances from you, the sound arrives at your ears at different times, making your music sound a little muddy. Often, the best solution is to replace the factory stereo, but the dash designs of some vehicles can make that option difficult, or less than desirable.
Custom sound system upgrades to the rescue
Luckily, this problem has some solutions that let you keep your factory stereo and get spectacular sound, customized for your specific vehicle. The two upgrade systems we discuss in this article improve the factory sound of different vehicles in different ways — you can call us if you need a hand deciding which will work best for yours.
Keep your dash intact
In addition to improving the sound to match your vehicle’s size and shape, these upgrade systems are "stealthy," in that they’re designed to fit in your vehicle with no visible modifications to its interior, except for the addition of a subwoofer.
Kicker VSS™ Powerstage™
Custom fit and programmed to make your vehicle sound great
A Kicker VSS Powerstage system upgrade will transform your vehicle's stock radio and speakers into a high-fidelity sound system capable of giving you full, accurate, and richly textured music. And it does it without changing the look of your car's interior or dash.
VSS Powerstage system for the 2012 Ford Mustang
It plugs into your factory wiring with no cutting
The heart of the system is the VSS Powerstage processor/amp module that plugs in between your car's stock receiver and speakers with the help of a vehicle-specific wiring harness. Kicker's technicians measured the acoustics of the specific vehicle's interior, then developed a program to get the strongest and cleanest audio performance possible from the stock speakers. The VSS Powerstage module breathes new life into your vehicle's factory system, automatically correcting for the limitations of the factory speakers, then adding plenty of power so the speakers can sound their best.
Of course, there's a subwoofer with it
A powered subwoofer, built to fit exactly in your vehicle, supplies the bass you need for fully balanced music. VSS Powerstage upgrades come with all the wiring pre-cut and terminated to make installation easier. Step-by-step, illustrated instructions make this sonic upgrade a fun and rewarding project.
They’re currently available for many Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, and Jeep vehicles. Use our vehicle selector to see if there's a Kicker VSS Powerstage system available for yours.
This is just one way to add improved sound to your car without changing the factory stereo. For more ideas, check out the Factory Radio Improvement section of our website, or give us a call and talk to our knowledgeable advisors. They'll help you figure out the options available for your car.