Caroline Lacombe – Luthier

Have a look at our handcrafted instruments

At Lacombe instruments, we specialize on plucked string instruments. we precisely build Mandolins, Mandolas, Bouzoukis, and Acoustic basses to fit the needs of any player, from beginners to professionals




Check our exhibitions here 😄

Every year, I go to several luthier exhibitions and festivals so you all can try my instruments and meet with all your friends from the folk scene

Le Son Continu 14-17 juillet 2022

Le Son Continu 14-17 juillet 2022

Ce festival revient en force, tout un classique pour les amateurs de musiques et danses populaires. Les concerts, les planchers ...
caroline lacombe stand

Le Son Continu 2019

LSC the luthiers gathering at La Chatre (France) Le Son Continu (The continuous sound in french) is one of the ...
boulegan caroline lacombe

Boulegan à L’Ostal 2019

St-Jean-du-Gard, always as vibrant! The music, dance and luthiers festival! The luthiers' salon is always very busy! There, you can ...
pirenostrum caroline lacombe


The luthier exhibition of the Pyrenees This is one of the biggest exhibitions of traditional instrument makers in Spain. A ...

Why I started building Mandolins?

Caroline Lacombe

Well, I have been surrounded by a family of musicians of all levels, woodworkers, and people who made things with their own hands. Besides all the sewing and woodcarving, I learned to sing, play the recorder, then the piano, then the guitar

Then an instrument caught my ears: the mandolin! It was the very simple but catchy mandolin chords and melody in “Losing my Religion.” from REM. It really got my attention and was my first real interest in learning the mandolin!

Discovering the trade

Later on, I went to university in a town with a rich background both Scottish and Irish called Peterborough, in Ontario, Canada. I played in a band and my uncle lent me his mandolin to put some Irish music touch to our songs.

I got to know what a session in a pub was and was amazed at all the instruments I didn’t know before. Bones, concertinas, and bouzoukis were all new to me! One of the musicians made bodhrans and he showed me books on how to make violins and violas, mandolins and mandolas, harps and all kinds of flutes.

That was such a great inspiration when at that age I had no idea that such crafts still existed!! I did not know at the time that these discoveries would have such an impact on my life and the decisions I would make later on!

Introduction to traditional instrument making

One of the decisions was to go to Spain and do the year abroad program. I had dreamt of getting a Spanish guitar for years so with the help of my family and relatives I bought my dear guitar in Granada. In that town, I also met people who introduced me to the Galician folk and trad music. The hurdy gurdy was the most unusual instruments the eyes of this Quebecois girl had ever seen! I absolutely wanted to know more! Once I finished the studies I was accepted in Lugo in 1995 for a course on Galician traditional instruments building.

How I chose to build the instruments I make

Therefore after Lugo, I did start by making a hurdy gurdy, not the easiest I must say!! So I thought I would go back to my “Irish” origins and start a new project by building an Irish bouzouki. I also thought that as a guitar player, the bouzouki tuning in GDAD would be a good way to try and sing with open chords. I really enjoyed the experience and then started to make mandolins, too.

So, not long after, I was building the other members of the mandolin family. It seemed like the natural thing to do in the process of developing new instruments.

Well, after living for many years in Barcelona, the music scene is so diverse and eclectic I though an acoustic bass was a great choice to meet the needs of musicians from other styles.

The Workshop

The new workshop is nice and bright and I love working there and having people over. We have people coming by to try and play our instruments. We also give a little love to your old instrument that need repair, restringing or restoration. Come and visit!