Brian Cohen is one of the best contemporary builders in the world today, arguably the best and most respected in England. His guitars have gorgeous quality of sound and play easily. Although the aesthetics are unique to Cohen, this guitar is structurally based on the 1940 Hauser I (ex Rose Augustine) made famous from years of concertizing and recording by Julian Bream. Brian knows the original Hauser intimately, as he serviced it regularly over a 10 year period while in Bream's possession. This particular guitar has a fascinating backstory - it was originally built to facilitate a photo shoot by noted UK photographer, John Gallo
, for National Geographic Magazine, and it will possibly appear in an issue in late 2015 or 2016. Some of these photos can be viewed here
. It is built with Brian's top materials, including a soundboard of fine grained 'moonwood' (aged 20 years minimum) Alpine spruce top, and a gorgeous straight-grained set of quarter-sawn Indian rosewood for the back and sides. The complex rosette is unique, made for this guitar, using his "long grain showing' technique (most guitars use the duller 'endgrain' technique for mosaic work) in the spirit of two Torres instruments that have influenced Brian greatly for inlay work. Bindings are rosewood with inset lacewood, fully purfled while the top is double purfled in the Hauser I style. Tuners are Rodgers, with blackwood buttons. Overall a very classy and handsome instrument. The sound is bright and clear in character, and at the same has great warmth and sophistication. Quick in response with very good projection, this is an excellent instrument for the concert stage. In addition, we would expect this guitar to be a dream to record with - it has a very broad tonal palette and dynamic range, making it very expressive. Overall a highly desirable instrument by any standard.
Photographs taken during construction of this guitar by John Gallo, for National Geographic Magazine.