Going big on a golf cart audio system
How much sound can you add to an EZ-GO TXT? We decided to find out!
In brief: In this article, we'll show you how we added a truly awesome sound system to an EZ-GO TXT golf cart. We'll tell you all about the gear, plus our expert installer will share some of his insights.
By now, pretty much everyone knows that golf carts aren’t just for the links anymore. You’ll see them at campgrounds and racetracks, not to mention in neighborhoods and some small towns.
With so many people using these handy little vehicle like cars, adding some car-like features is a logical progression. Listening to music? Check. Charging a phone? Check. Upgrading the floor mats? Yes, really, and also check. Sound and functionality matter, of course, but so does style.
This EZ-GO TXT cart belongs to our friend Danny, and he uses it to cruise around his property in rural Virginia, and to get around whenever the family travels to Myrtle Beach. Almost nothing in his motor pool is 100% stock anymore, so why should his cart be any different? He was already adding some multicolor lighting when we started talking. Needless to say, we had some more big ideas. So did our friends at Wet Sounds.
Meet our installer
Crutchfield Editor Matt Freeman handled the installation on this cart. In addition to being an ace copy-fixer, Matt is also an experienced installer who's worked on cars, trucks, boats, bikes, and now, a golf cart.
In hopes of making your golf cart upgrade go a little easier, we asked Matt to share some of his installation insights below.
The key to it all
This Wet Sounds golf cart harness made our installation vastly less complicated. With one space-saving cable, you can supply power to the stereo and LEDs, and signal to the speakers and sub. This all-weather harness features "plug-n-play" connections that will allow you to install Wet Sounds Recon and Revo Series speaker systems with RGB wiring, plus a plug-in that will work with select Wet Sounds digital media receivers and marine subwoofers. There's also a direct plug-in for a Wet Sounds RGB controller.
Matt's installation notes
"The Wet Sounds harness made wiring the gear so much easier. It really is one of the most useful installation aids I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Here's how it works.
"The stereo we used has a big, water-tight plug on it that includes the power and signal wires. The golf cart harness has a connector that plugs right into it.
"The harness also offers plugs for the signal going to the front and rear speakers, and for power going to all the RGB accessories we used (an RGB controller in the dash, and the lights in the speakers). It also offers connetions for the signal and remote-turn-on wires on the powered subwoofer we put in the back. The wiring diagram below illustrates how everything is connected."
"I made the connections in the dash, then ran the harness under the cart using existing wiring channels, and into the battery compartment. At this end, terminals for power and ground connect directly to the dedicated XS Power sound-system battery we installed. So, I did no cutting, no splicing, and only had to run wire loom under the vehicle. It was, dare I say, easy."
A major style upgrade
When you’re installing cool gear in a golf cart, you need somewhere to put it. The VIP Dash Kit we used features cutouts for a gauge-mount receiver and two 6-1/2" speakers. Made from durable ABS plastic, this kit comes in four finishes. We chose Carbon Fiber. To minimize rattles, we applied Dynamat sound-deadening material throughout the cart, but especially on the underside of the dash kit.
One of the coolest upgrades we added was also the easiest to install. This WeatherTech golf cart mat is designed specifically for 2009-2022 EZ-GO TXT carts, so it fits right in. It’s made from the same durable material used in their popular WeatherTech FloorLiners, so it’ll absolutely stand up to life in the outdoors. Sculpted channels trap moisture, while the patented cleat cleaner removes grass and dirt from shoes. You’ll also be glad to know that it’s 100% recyclable and also latex- and PVC-free.
Matt's installation notes
"The WeatherTech mat really did fit right into place. I just had to fit it around the pedals. It makes an immediate visual upgrade, and is awfully rugged.
"To install the VIP Dash Kit, I had to remove the steering wheel first, then the kit slides right onto it and fits in place over the factory dash. That part is a breeze.
"The gauge-style stereo drops right into place in the gauge-sized opening in the center of the kit. All I had to do was drill four pilot holes and secure it in place with the four screws that came with the radio. I used speed clips on the back to make the mount nice and tight.
"The speakers also dropped right into place and also secured with four screws and speed clips. Finally, I used a rotary tool to cut out openings for the cart's battery meter and forward/reverse selector, the RGB controller right next to the stereo, and the cart's headlight switch. Each of them pressure-fit in place when I was done. VIP pre-drills a handy cutout for the cart's ignition switch."
Better sounds, plus better sights
The heart of this system is the Wet Sounds WS-MC-2 marine digital media receiver. It fits neatly into the gauge opening and includes Bluetooth® connectivity, a global AM/FM/Weather tuner, a charging USB port, and an AUX input. With big buttons and a 3" LCD display, this rugged receiver is easy to read and easy to use.
In the cabin, we mounted four Wet Sounds RECON 6-1/2" marine speakers. They let you choose from seven illumination colors; for extra glow, we mounted them with Wet Sounds LED rings. Rated for 60 watts of RMS power, these speakers sound as cool as they look.
To control the lights, we installed a Wet Sounds RGB controller next to the stereo. For extra power, we installed a super-compact Wet Sounds STX Micro-4 amplifier under the front cowling and connected it to the golf cart harness with a Wet Sounds amp kit.
Matt's installation notes
"As if the main harness hadn't made things easy enough, the amp kit helped a ton, too. It made it easy to add the amp and speakers. It's basically a T-harness that passes the power and ground from the stereo to the battery, but bypasses the stereo's speaker outputs in favor of the amp's.
"I crimped the speaker output wires on the amp kit to the speaker output wires on the amplifier. Then I plugged one end of the kit to the connector on the back of the stereo, and the other end of the kit to the plug on the golf cart harness.
"I finished the connections by plugging in the amp kit's RCA cables to the preamp outputs of the stereo, and running the power cables for the amp under the cart and into the battery compartment."
Bass? Oh yeah.
Can you really add big bass to a golf cart? Yes, you can! The compact Wet Sounds Stealth AS-6 powered subwoofer fits under the rear seat. Its built-in amp delivers 250 watts of power to its 6" marine speaker and produces plenty of thump.
The subwoofer driver is computer-matched to the enclosure, so you'll get plenty of low-end performance from this subwoofer. It comes with a remote level control, so you can tune it to suit your musical tastes.
Matt's installation notes
"Wiring connections and mounting for this li'l powerhouse of a subwoofer were totally straightforward. The golf cart harness features an RCA cable and a remote turn-on wire that plug into the stereo's subwoofer preamp outputs and remote turn-on lead in the dash, then connect to the sub's wire harness in the battery compartment. The subwoofer also features power and ground wires that connect directly to the battery.
"The amp has four mounting feet. I just had to drill four inconspicuous holes in the little cargo area beneath the back seat, then secured the sub in place with long screws, nuts, and washers."
Dedicated juice to keep it all running
The challenge of installing a system this big in a golf cart is making sure it gets the power it needs. This EZ-GO uses a 36-volt battery bank, and we didn’t want to complicate things by using a voltage reducer. Instead, we turned to an XS Power XP2000 12-volt supplemental battery that only powers the sound system. This powerful battery fits the space perfectly and provides plenty of audio time. We secured it with an XS Power billet aluminum hold-down kit.
For recharging, we mounted a NOCO Genius charger next to the battery. This compact powerhouse simply plugs into a wall outlet for fast, easy charging when you need it. It's earned an IP68 rating, too, which means it's totally waterproof and even saltwater-tested for corrosion resistance. It'll stand up to salt air, too.
Matt's installation notes
"The power aspect of this installation might be my favorite, actually. We decided that, given how much current is flowing through the audio system, the best option would be to give it all its own battery. This way, we're not hindering the performace of the main battery bank and reducing drive time.
"The battery fits the available space in the compartment like it was designed for it. I used the XS Power tie down to keep it from moving around. This involved drilling a hole in the bottom plate of the cart, then using the included screws to secure the base plate and posts. The plate on top fits over the posts, and screws hold it all in place neatly. The kit even comes with spacers for larger batteries, so it works for plenty of applications. And the XS Power logo looks pretty sweet.
"Mounting the NOCO Genius charger required simply using two machine screws to secure it in place on the wheel well next to the battery. Power and ground leads are permanently connected to the battery's terminals (along with the terminals for the stereo, amp, and sub). The charger just needs to be plugged into a wall outlet whenever the battery runs down. Simple!"
Matt and Hunter from our marine (and golf cart, ATV, motorcycle, etc.) advisor group
What's your next mobile audio project?
This was our latest fun project. What's yours? If golf carts are your thing, check out our selection of golf cart accessories and customization gear.
If you need help putting together the gear for ANY stereo installation project, contact our friendly Crutchfield advisors. They love to help plan a fun system and make sure you get the gear you need to make it happen.
And when the project is finished, tell us about it by submitting it to our Custom Car Showroom.