| At the
2006 CMSA Convention in Louisville, KY, a 'mandolin consumer's
survey" was conducted jointly with First Quality Musical Supply. A
single player played all of the mandolins with the same pick, and similar
strings. A panel of three judges listened to the mandolins in a
"blind test". Out of eleven mandolins in the over $2500
category, the two Cohen mandolins placed first and second.
Dr. Dave Cohen's interest in mandolins and guitars began while he
was in graduate school in Florida State University. His skills as a
luthier dovetailed nicely with a lifelong love of woodworking. His full
fledged lutherie career started over five years ago and took off during a
sabbatical from his teaching position. In May 2003, Dr. Cohen retired from
teaching college chemistry and took up full time lutherie duties as demand
for his instruments grew.
The sabbatical gave him an opportunity to study the vibrational
properties of the mandolin with Dr. Thomas Rossing at Northern Illinois
University. In June of 2000, he gave a talk entitled "Normal Modes of
Vibration in Mandolins" at the Acoustical Society of America (ASA)
meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the first person to publish a paper on
the acoustic properties of the mandolin. One article was published in the
November 2000 issue of the Catgut Acoustical Society Journal, titled
"Normal Modes of Vibration in Two Mandolins". In the fall of
2001, he presented a talk entitled "The Physics of Mandolins",
at the Classical Mandolin Society of America's annual convention in
Boseman, Montana, where his instruments were received with great
excitement. In May 2004 he presented a paper entitled, "Normal Modes
of Different Types of pre-1929 Mandolins", at the ASA meeting in New
Dr. Cohen's work was profiled in the January 2002 issue of
Richmond Magazine, and the December 2001 issue of Mandolin Quarterly -
"A Scientific Approach to Mandolin construction".
Dr. Cohen resides in Richmond, VA with his wife,
daughter, and two furry felines.