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modern sub cu ft needs/stereo discussion

Hey I was at a stereo shop the other day, getting some better quality wire 
than is available from the car parts store to rewire my nasty starter solenoid 
cable for my 4ksq, so I can do a compression test on it (yes, things take 
time!), and I inquired about their subwoofer boxes they had.

The ones they had were about 1.3 cu ft a side.  IIRC, my brand new reconed 
Cerwin Vega 12"s (with blue cones!) take something on the order of 2.33 cu 
ft each, ported.

The guy at the stereo shop said that that was one of the drawbacks to CV's.

I know Kicker's used to not take much room.  The regular ones from a few 
years back required 2.0 for the 12"s, and 3.0 for the 15"s (Once had two 
15"s in the back of a Toy' truck with a shell, and about 175w rms to each.  
Can't remember if it ever had the PPI 2300 hooked up to those.)

Newer subs take even less room it seems.  What kind of airspace to 
modern, current subs require?  Are the freeair/solobaric type subs 
comparable to sound quality/characteristics to "regular" subs?

I'm not spending any money on stereo stuff for a while, I'm mostly curious. 

I understand I can "clamshell" my 4 12"s to run two pairs as one pair, which 
would reduce the required box size, but I wasn't planning on making just one 
sub box.

As for musical types, I listen to all types, with the exception of maybe 
country western.  Most often, I listen to various types of techno and ambient 
music, with the second most often being alternative and who knows.
Jason Bentley's Metropolis type music for those that know.  Damn I miss 
that show here in AZ.

I suppose I'm less concerned about trunk space and weight, as long as it 
doesn't interfere in normal, local city type driving and grocery-getting.