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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

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.

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/31/2018

    Rick, give us a call with the scope of your installation and we can give you an idea of what you might need to look out for and what you might need.

  • Rick Ross from Woodstock

    Posted on 1/28/2018

    Someone mentioned power petals in an install. On my 2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD crew cab , with power adjustable petals, will this be an issue?

  • Commenter image

    Dave Delamere from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/1/2016

    Abe, we'd need a bit more information about your Silverado to answer that question. Find out if a Kicker VSS system works in your vehicle using our vehicle selector, or give us a call.

  • Abe from Waipahu, Hi

    Posted on 7/28/2016

    I have a bose system in my 2015 silverado 1500 LTZ. Is the kicker system still plug and play on my vehicle?

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/3/2016

    Chris, this VSS Powerstage system actually gives you a bit more power than the 4-channel Alpine Power Packs and it has a built-in DSP. So, if the Kicker system is compatible with your vehicle and you plan to keep the factory radio, this system will serve you well. As far as aftermarket speakers go, they'll always be an improvement over factory speakers.

  • Chris

    Posted on 6/2/2016

    I would definitely not expect the VSS system to be as good as upgrading to a regular powered amp. especially using factory speakers. But how would this compare to something like a Alpine power pack? Also would upgrading factory speakers improve on this system further?

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/24/2016

    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.

  • Gully from Jackson, mo

    Posted on 5/23/2016

    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?

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/17/2016

    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.

  • Josh Kicklighter from Charleston

    Posted on 5/15/2016

    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.