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Lets stray away from timing here for a second and talk about cylinder head combustion chamber shapes. I always hear people say many factors such as fuel, and timing (just to name a few) depend on the shape of the combustion chamber. Besides Hemi, which I have been told most new heads are technically "hemispherical" what are some others?
Along the lines of typical domestic v motors
 

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Advantages and disadvantages of each?
Well, I'm no engineer, I can only read what engineers write and repeat it to others.
Time for links....Little rhyme or reason here, I just included what looked interesting and valid to me.....
Combustion Chamber Design
Design To Improve Turbulence In Combustion Chambers
Cylinder head design
Cute little video...
Wedge combustion chamber
Don't know who wrote this, but it's an interesting read....
Cylinder Head Technology
Cylinder Head Designs - Head Porter - Circle Track Magazine
 

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I take it when you got to order a cylinder head, if it doesn't specifically say which shape it is, then it is the typical wedge shape?
With a modern production and many aftermarket SBC heads, what you will be looking at in most cases is a fast burn combustion chamber. These are usually heart or kidney shaped and have quench pads on both sides of the combustion chamber. The Vortec (shown below) is representative of such a chamber.


Click on image for brief article on Vortec head

More info on one reason for the Vortec and other fast burn-type chamber shapes can be seen here.
 

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Here's what newer sbc heads are trending towards
R07 chamber image by performancecnc on Photobucket

that basic squished figure 8 is being used in a lot of aftermarket race heads, it works pretty well, BUT it creates a very high compression ratio with most shelf stock pistons.

pentroof 4 valve heads are also becoming fairly normal on OEM stuff.

true "hemi" haeds haven't existed fora LONG time, but there are many manufacturers who run "semi-hemi" shapes.
 
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