Jump to content
  • Sign up for FREE! Become a GM-Trucks.com Member Today!

    In 20 seconds you can become part of the worlds largest and oldest community discussing General Motors, Chevrolet and GMC branded pickups, crossovers, and SUVs. From buying research to owner support, join 1.5 MILLION GM Truck Enthusiasts every month who use GM-Trucks.com as a daily part of their ownership experience. 

prox_denali

'14-'18 Aftermarket Sound Systems - What ya got?

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone, 

I have literally been looking for weeks about upgrading my stock Bose system with something a little more 'upbeat' - pun intended. I've searched on here along with a few other forums and sites like Crutchfield, through Google, and even YouTube for what I'm looking for but to no avail. To start, while I feel I can understand and work on most aftermarket upgrades on our trucks, I am somewhat of a novice doing sound systems and a complete newbie to this generation system - the last system I did was on my 2001 Explorer like a decade ago and I loved it - Alpine Type S front speakers/Infinity Reference rear speakers, a single 10" kicker sub with some no name amp and an old double din Pioneer AVICD3 headunit. I'll be honest, I got lucky and everything sounded great BUT that was in a truck that also had a blown factory speaker before being replaced. It was an easy and clean install for me when I was 16 years old - since then I haven't touched another factory system. Where I get confused is all of the audio jargon that comes with searching for this stuff. Like differences between coaxial and component speakers, ohm and watt ratings, etc. I also ask myself 'how do I know what I'm putting in be better than what I've got now?' sort of thing.  So I figured I would create a post and see what others are doing! What I want to do is replace the factory speakers and add a sub only. 

 

Some stipulations I have:

1. I do not want to cut any wire or modify anything (harnesses, drill holes, etc.) on the truck side, I want it to be completely 100% reversible and 100% plug and play. What I'd like to know are things like which speakers you went with/which ones you added or replaced, speaker mounting brackets (whether you had to modify them or not,) speaker/amp/sub wiring harnesses (whether you had to modify them or not,) amp(s) used, sub(s) used, wire used, line out converters used, sub boxes, sound deadening, how you routed your wiring, installation tips and tricks, what you would change etc. (It's been a while so I need all the help I can get!)

 

2. I would like to keep my factory headunit. (I know, kinda lame but there is nothing like the fit and finish of a nice factory touch screen IMO, just looks 'seamless' and clean to me) I also assume by keeping the factory headunit, it would keep me from having to modify to fit, having to worry about losing factory door chimes, having to mess with steering wheel controls, pulling the dash apart, etc. - so I am willing to lose that little bit of pep out of a good aftermarket speaker to keep the factory HU. Maybe one day I may upgrade to a 12" 'Tesla style' headunit or an IPad but I'd rather keep what I have for right now - just sticking with speakers, amp(s) and sub(s). 

 

Here is what I do know: 

 

1. I've seen some products made by LLJ Customs that utilizes or bypasses the O.E Bose amp. It appears to be pretty top notch stuff. If you've used them or have used something similar, please elaborate on your experiences installing. From what I've seen, they added an additional amp using their custom harnesses to amplify an added sub while still using the O.E Bose amp to amplify the O.E Bose speakers and O.E Bose sub. Not against adding just a sub to the O.E speakers, but figured it may be worth my while to upgrade the door speakers too. In this case, I get confused and I'm not sure what to get when adding door speakers. I reached out to them with what I'm looking for but haven't received a response.... yet. If you visit their website: https://lljcustoms.com/store/ols/products/2014-2019-gm-bose-amp-t-harness/v/1419GMBOSE-BS-HRN12 

 

2. I've seen the JL Stealthbox for the center console. For those who have it, how do you like it? I have an underseat storage box underneath my rear seats and ideally I'd like to keep it BUT I'm not opposed to either removing the storage box all together and replace it with a nice sub box that fits snug underneath the rear seats OR if someone has fabbed up a sub box that fits within the underseat storage box. I'd like to run a single sub, I'd be happy with an 8" or 10" sub but that's just preference.

 

3. From what I've read on here, the O.E Bose system itself puts out some weird ohm readings to the factory speakers and sub, which leads me to believe that it would be almost pointless to replace JUST the speakers and makes me assume I need an amp to power them. Now I could be wrong, so if you have replaced JUST the speakers please let me know your results, I'd like to know. 

 

Still in question:

 

1. Active Noise Cancellation - I'd assume that my truck is equipped because it has Bose but can trucks with Bose not have it? What in the world is it and why does it need to be bypassed?

 

2. Is there truly any way to get a plug and play system that isn't invasive in these trucks? Because I still have some doubts. I.E: mounting the speakers, speaker harnesses, bypassing or utilizing the factory amp/sub/speakers, etc.

 

3. Interaction with stock HU. Would it need to be removed for what I want to do? I assume no. I'm not afraid to remove it to do what I need to do if I have to but I cannot recall what you have to do to make the newly added speakers/sub to work?

 

4.. I feel I have enough wrench-turning knowhow to do this mild 'overhaul.' I just don't want to trick myself - or should I take it to my trusted local audio shop and let them deal with it? To me, the trucks with Bose, it seems like it throws a wrench in the equation that confuses me - also something I did not have to encounter over 10 years ago. I mean it's been a while and I think I could figure it out once everything was in front of me but I also don't want to dive straight in without a clear picture in my mind of how it needs to be done or get in-over my head. 

 

With all of that said and I know this is a long post but, I have no issues with the stock system. The stock Bose sounds okay but I'd like to hear what other people are running and feedback on what everyone has. From mild to wild, if you got it, please show it. Pictures and videos work best for me as I'm a visual learner. I also think it would be neat to have the moderators sticky this so that people can get ideas for their own trucks. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a box that’s never been installed for under the center console. I’ll bump my classified ad if you want to take a look at it. Accommodates JL 8”


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure! I'd like to take a look!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I installed the JL Stealth sub in the center console. I like it. A lot. plenty of bass for me and can play loud and shake the mirrors. 

 

My steps in upgrading the Bose system in my 2018, where I was trying to keep the factory head unit and all factory features (phone, OnStar, controls, etc):

1) upgrading the door speakers. Nice improvement, but use efficient speakers, the Bose amp is not very powerful). I also went with two way separates, and mounted the tweeter in the door sail. Can use the factory speaker wires, and the location save from having to run tweeter wire back through the door boot. Does mean mounting the cross over in the door, which need to consider keeping dry. 

2) wanted more power, so used a NAVTV m650 (expensive) to add a JL Audio amp 5 channel amp to run the door speakers and make room for a sub. This kept the door chimes and phone rings to normal volume, and made the door speaker sound much better, plus added tons of clean volume.  

3) Got the JL Stealth sub and used the amps sub channel. This was another big improvement. 

4) last, I upgraded the dash speakers and added another 2ch amp to support. Looking back this is critical. The way the Bose system works, a lot of signal is sent to these speakers. Both for music and for environment sounds (door, phone, etc). Upgrading them with good full range or at least mid range speakers is important. it adds a ton of mid range bass (kick drum), and fills in the sound stage. The Bose seems to steer a ton of signal to these speakers. While the NAVTV and new amps improve the sound, it is still the head unit and Bose processor that determines which and what signals goes to which channel. 

I really like the end result. As loud as I need it, with great deep bass, and kept most of the factory features. I think I lost the Active Noise Cancelation. Not sure if this was from the sub replacement, or the NAVTV processor, but I am not sure it would still work since I changed the exhaust (headers and muffler). My understanding is it is tuned to 6.2L exhaust note at idle (lower than previous), and tries to "cancel" the low frequencies that are most  "annoying". Anyway, I am not sure it still does anything and not sure how to test it. 

Working on the Bose does make it more challenging, but I'd probably do it again the same way, except all at once. 

Good luck   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your insight! I kinda figured that the dash speakers were gonna get in the way. From what I’ve seen, there isn’t any direct plug and play harness for them. That’s what I’m really going for but if there is no way around it then I guess I don’t have a choice if I do decide putting in a mild system. What speakers are you using? How did you mount them up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went with the non bose( they have a setup for the bose too) GM Kicker powered subwoofer(200 watts) with the extra amp (200 watts) for the door speakers. $840 at shopchevyparts.com
I replaced the door speakers with Kicker CS series. 6"x9" 3 ways in front doors 6.75" 2 ways in rear doors.
Dash speakers are Kenwood Excelon 2.75"
Doors have wave breaker foam behind speakers and hushmat around the opening. All this was from Crutchfield around $360
Everything is plug and play except the dash speakers. You have to cut the wires and splice them in no biggie. No drilling either. Instructions for the sub are real good too anyone could do it .
The results were night and day
Bass is pretty healthy. And it sounds good.
BTW the bose speakers are the same as the non bose. They are paper and are low quality. The difference in the systems is a digital processer on the bose to give the improvement in sound quality and the factory 6" sub.

You could probably spend around the same and get an amp and sub box and new speakers but your door chimes and phone speaker won't work right .
Mine is just like factory everything still works. But sounds way better. ff7b017140657d710432f2335eb41ec2.jpg0d3960ef62fd8d5e19efd9ebc7aeb373.jpg871fad74ffca454d5c3db675871523eb.jpg

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a neat setup, looks factory and clean. I really wish there was one made for the trucks that came factory with a underseat storage box. I feel if I weren't satisfied with an 8 in the center console, then removing it would be my only option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to keep factory look and true plug and play for our 2 trucks, went with LLJ for their harness to attach the amp for the sub.  Great quality, its a small side business, so it did take a few weeks to get, but overall happy with the product.

My sons drive the trucks, so I didn't want to do anything overkill, so went with 1 12" under rear seat. Im sure they will want to upgrade the other speakers, but they have to come up with the money first. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's a neat setup, looks factory and clean. I really wish there was one made for the trucks that came factory with a underseat storage box. I feel if I weren't satisfied with an 8 in the center console, then removing it would be my only option.
I think I am getting a cheap underseat storage unit off eBay and I'm going to cut the part off where the sub is. Storage and sub all in one look is what I'm thinking.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Under-Seat-Storage-Box-For-GMC-Sierra-1500-and-Chevrolet-Silverado-3500-HD-/284138523209?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, dieselfan1 said:

I think I am getting a cheap underseat storage unit off eBay and I'm going to cut the part off where the sub is. Storage and sub all in one look is what I'm thinking.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Under-Seat-Storage-Box-For-GMC-Sierra-1500-and-Chevrolet-Silverado-3500-HD-/284138523209?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

Coincidence. I just bought same system you did. Shoot even bought same component speakers as you except got Kicker speakers for dash. 

I have Duha box under back seat that gonna have to take jigsaw to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I am currently gathering all the equipment to start a build on my 17 denali W/Bose so i cant speak to much about the install side of things from my experience yet but i have talked to a couple who have done a number of these trucks. Did you have a budget in mind to start with?

 

As far as keeping the stock HU you can use that nav-tv which is nice but like stated expensive, I haven't talked to anyone who has used the llj harness but it looks good to, I will probably end up ordering my amp rack from them and modifying it to fit. They also sell speaker adapters and a couple other things for these trucks. I will be using the pac ap4gm61 to get optical from the head unit but you can also use rca depending on your set-up. It's about half the price of the nav tv and seems to have all the same features.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_541AP4GM61/PAC-AmpPRO-AP4-GM61-Aftermarket-Amplifier-Interface.html

 

Pac also makes a harness that plugs straight into the bose amp and if you decide to go with a sep amp you don't have to run any new wire. As long as the new speakers are going in the same locations. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_541APHGM02/PAC-APH-GM02-AmpPro-Speaker-Connection-Harness.html

 

I got a mti box for my truck with 2 JL 13tw5's - they make a bunch of different options depending on your budget and how much bass you want.  They aren't cheap but very well built and can be customized to whatever you want.  https://mtiacoustics.com/ 

 

If you search around you can find a basic prefab box for around $200 depending on the configuration. Ive also talked to a couple people who have done the jl center console box and they have been really happy with them but like anything else could have some rattles that you might have to chase out. The kicker seems like a good option to..

 

I will be going active 3 way up front with audio frog gb10 in the a pillars, gb25 in the stock dash location and gb60's in the doors. You don't have to get that crazy, many companies make wide band speakers that could be better replacements for the 2.75 in the dash and then just upgrade the doors. Audiofrog makes a gs series as well that is made to integrate into stock locations easily, focal has a integration series as well that could run off the bose amp and still be a nice upgrade. 

 

I don't think any of this is hard as you think and based on what you have already done to your truck you should be able to handle this but if you feel overwhelmed you could always take it to a local shop. Either way it's not a bad idea to get a quote from a couple places and see/hear some stuff in person anyway. 

 

Here's a couple pictures of my box and pillars. Now i just need winter to get over so i can start already!!

 

 

IMG_5359(1).jpg

IMG_5599.jpg

IMG_5355.jpg

IMG_5602.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like that sub box ya got there. A friend of mine makes sub boxes similar to those and they certainly are not cheap. At least in my eyes of what a sound system/sub setup costs. As far as costs is concerned, I think I'd be in the realm of about $1000 or so. Not necessarily trying to have the loudest sound system on the block by any means, just something that sounds good/better than the stock Bose system. Taking the JL stealthbox for the console into consideration though, I feel I'll probably be over that budget fairly quick. A newb thing I did was, went to my local best buy, listened to some of their speakers on display - i.e kickers, alpines, pioneers, etc. Low key, I was fairly impressed with the Kickers, especially for under $100.00 a pair. The alpines, what I had in the past, seemed to miss their mark BUT this is also on a display that have been powered up for God knows how long. I'm open to other brands though, like JL, Skar, Polk, and so on but I was really just window shopping. Thanks for all the feedback though, lets keep 'em coming!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coincidence. I just bought same system you did. Shoot even bought same component speakers as you except got Kicker speakers for dash. 
I have Duha box under back seat that gonna have to take jigsaw to.
Did you get it installed yet?
Lets see your duha box after you cut it

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, dieselfan1 said:

Did you get it installed yet?
Lets see your duha box after you cut it

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

Nope. Since last Thursday we had three winter storms roll thru here. UPS hasn't been able to get around very well. Plus this is what it looks like going up my buddies hill where the heated garage is.

I918JwH.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where you at?

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.