#1
I just got a tube amp and I have some questions. My friend told me if I have either the volume or the master up all the way I get better distortion. Which one is it? If I have it all the way up will turning the other one up drastically increase the volume without turning it very far, possibly blowing the speaker? What happens if I do the opposite of whatever gets the better distortion? Better clean tone?
#2
What amp is it?
Your friend is referring to power amp distortion over preamp distortion. Cranking the master will give power amp distortion which gives a more classic sound like AC/DC, plexis etc (not exactly like that but you get the picture) while preamp distortion generally gives you a more modern distortion sound.
Theres no better really it depends on the sound you're after.
#4
Gain increases the overdrive/distortion. On pedals theres sometimes nobs that say dist. or od. They increase they ammount and the gain increases the power.
#5
like a classic rock sound? find a mix.

for a heavier sound, master lower, volume higher or maxed. also, if your amp hasa mid boost, take it OFF!!!!! the difference is amazing. not so much teaking the EQ but un-boosting the mids makes your tone + distortion immediately heavier.

for example i have a bugera 22 watt. if i want a heavier sound- master down, volume up, bridge pickup tone on like 3, click on my boss distortion and turn off mid boost.

i can leave the mid boost on and rock the boss, but its not as deep. unclicking the mid boost is a whole nother sound.

on the other hand with my setup teh midboost really helps with a classic/hard rock sound.