#1
Or does the second speaker just make it sound, i dunno, better?
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#2
not noticeably louder, no. better... in short, most likely.
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#3
Assuming everything else is the same, the larger cab size and and speaker surface area of the 2x12 will make it sound a little bit louder.
The biggest thing you'll notice though is headroom. Usually with an 18W amp you'll be using a 25W speaker like a greenback, so if you use two speakers the handling doubles to 50 watts and you'll have a lot more headroom since you're not creating any speaker distortion like you would with a single speaker.
#4
Not really louder, it will sound fuller, less boxy, which may give the impression of more volume.
#5
in addition to the extra headroom and change in tonal dynamics the real loudness will come from the speaker efficiency aka the dbs/watt of the speaker. you can have a 112 with a really efficient speaker that will be much louder than a 212 that contains 2 inefficient speakers
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#6
18watts and 18watts are the same volume, but with 2 speakers you will get more air pushed, giving the effect that the 2x12 might be slightly louder
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