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NAMM 2022: Ciari Guitars unveils revamped, Grover Jackson-designed version of its Ascender folding electric guitar

Ciari Guitars Ascender Standard
(Image credit: Ciari Guitars)

NAMM 2022: Back in 2020, Ciari Guitars stunned audiences with its foldable Ascender Custom electric guitar, which brought an all-new-meaning to the phrase “travel guitar."

Now, the San Diego-based brand is back with an equally fascinating build, the Ascender Standard – an updated, more affordable version of the Ascender platform, which was built in collaboration with industry legends, Grover Jackson and Joe Glaser.

And when we say more affordable, we really mean it: with a targeted MAP of $1,800, it weighs in at over $1,000 cheaper than its $2,999-priced predecessor. 

Not only does it sport a fresh new look courtesy of Jackson and Glaser, who redesigned the body style and headstock, it also debuts a redesigned folding system – an innovation that is said to reduce weight and increase usability.

Said folding system operates via a mid-neck hinge, which works alongside a “throttle-style” actuator that loosens/tightens the electric guitar strings prior to folding. When collapsed, it measures a miniscule 18” inches in length.

You’d think that with all the hinges and mechanisms going on, the Ciari clan would’ve had to compromise elsewhere, right? Well, that’s not the case. Like the original version, the Ascender Standard comprises a wealth of impressive functional appointments, including a basswood body, mahogany neck and pau ferro fretboard.

We managed to capture the wizardry of the Ciari Ascender Standard for our NAMM 2022 live blog while perusing the show floor. You can check it out below.

There are a wealth of sumptuous colorways on display, too, including Natural, Nano-Satin Black, White, Red, Blue and an all-new Seafoam Green.

When collapsed, the Ascender Standard will fit into the included quilted gig-bag, which in turn will be suitable for a range of transport modalities: commercial and private planes, vans, motorcycles and all sorts of water-based vessels. The ultimate travel-friendly guitar? Quite possibly.

For more information, head over to Ciari Guitars (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.