Question about removing tubes.
... there must be more to it or else everyone would do it that way....
there indeed is a bit more to it.
a purely resistive attenuator will sound quite different (and usually not in a good way) than a reactive load. there is considerable thought and technical finesse in the better designs.
if you want to read more about reactive loads that approximate a loudspeaker, you can get some insight here:
you might experiment with resistive attenuators, but they will change the tone.
I've removed 2 tubes from a few 100 watt amps with no ill effects.
In a nutshell, you have to remove one power tube from each side of the circuit. either the 2 outside, or the 2 inside, 1 and 3, or 2 and 4.
Keep in mind that some say this changes the speaker load, so you'll have to change your ohm setting.
I'm not the guy to explain the hows and the whys. There are plenty of available articles for that.
I've always removed the 2 outer power tubes and adjusted my speaker load to 8 ohms for a 16 ohm speaker.
I've had no problems and that is how one of my amps is set at the moment.
This is a touchy subject for some, and there is much conflicting information. Contact the manufacturer if possible for their recommendation.
The way I understand it, is that power tubes work in pairs. If it's a 50 watt amp with only 2 power tubes, you cannot just remove one.
A simple, yet confusing subject.
It is true that it doesn't drop your volume much. Only about 3dB. Where this can be helpful is if your speaker is rated for say 60 watts, and you're jamming 100 watts through it. Dropping to 50 watts may be a good way to go. A speaker can't take that for very long.
Wanna buy a busted V30? :D
Attenuators are good. Some like 'em Some don't. I had one that was built into a Univalve. For some things I liked it, others I didn't. It will help in the volume department, though. It helps get pretty good tube break up at lower volumes.