I know it may be a silly question, but I'm not used to tube amps other than combos. I have also googled it but data is controversial.
I'm thinking about purchasing a 50w tube head and a cabnet.
I live in an apartment, what means that I can't go beyond a certain volume. So if I want to crank up the amp to get the best tones, would the number of speakers in the cabnet matter?
In other words: with the same sets in the amp, should I assume that the 2x12 would be louder than the 1x12?
a 2x12 will have bigger/thicker sound than a 1x12.
Plus, with a 2x12 you can mix and match speakers to expand the sonic landscape.
Even with a 1x12 you can crank a 50W amp loud enough that the whole building will hear you.
I know what you mean by getting loud with a single 12 speaker. Even my old Valvestate 65R is too loud to be played above 4 (elderly people living around :lol).
I played through a 4x12 for the first time in my life a couple of days ago at GC, and then I realized why they are so popular. On the other hand I have just tried a 1x2 closed back cabinet, so I kinda of understand what you mean about the 2x12.
But this subject is not clear enough yet, so let me ask you again if you don't mind. If I was playing through an 1x12 cabinet and then pull the speaker cable out of it and plug into an 2x12 (without touching the knobs in the head), would it become louder?
The number of speakers isn't going to make it less loud, on its own. A 50 watt tube head is way louder than a lot of people think, in terms of where the tonal 'sweet spot' usually is. Even a 5 watt tube amp is LOUD when turned up enough to work the tube(s).
If you need the amp for playing with a band, I'd get the 50 watt head and a 2x12 (or even a 4x12) or what I needed for the band, and just suffer with crappy tone when having it turned way down in the apartment. If it is just for the apartment and the very occasional jam, I'd stick with a practice amp/ pedal board, modeling amp, all-in-one unit, or other similar setup that can be kept at lower volumes and still retain most of the intended tones.
Think of it like this: If you are never going to drive where the speed limit goes over 25 MPH, there is little point in buying a car with 300+ HP.