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Chasidic groups vary in terms of their siddur's differences from nusach Ashkenaz, as well as their general minhagim and hashkafic approaches.

Is there a Chasidic group which most closely matches the regional customs prior to the advent of Chasidus?

Edit: I confess I have no idea how there could be one selectable correct answer to this question.

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Erlau. They dress like Hassidim and they have a rebbe, who holds a tisch, but their traditions and minhagim are Chassam Sofer strictly (In fact, the Erlauer ravs are from the direct line of the Chassam Sofer, and their surname is in fact, Sofer.). They use Ashkenaz siddur, and their culture is an Oberlander culture.

You'll also find, if you hang out with the Erlau community, that they tend to be much more sophisticated and worldly than regular Hassidim are. Regular Hassidim are nice, sweet folks, but very simple and naive, whilst Erlau people, while also sweet and kind, seem quite educated. Erlau has selectively adopted a few Hassidishims, but haven't betrayed their authentic traditions the way other Oberlander groups have.

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Who are the "regular Hassidim"? I seem to have met simple and sophsticated people in every social group. – JNF Oct 12 '12 at 9:45

I've heard that Belz Chassidus uses Nusach Ashkenaz (or something close to it) for Shemoneh Esrei.

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Vien chassidim(oberlander Jews) Daven Ahskanaz even though some switched to sefard . They also initially wore homburg hats not shtreimals which chassidim traditionally wear.

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To improve this answer, perhaps you should elaborate on what makes them more similar to Ashkenazi Jews than other Chassidim are. – HodofHod May 17 '12 at 4:53
The member of the Vien kehilla that daven Ashkenaz and wear Hamburgs would be livid if they see you calling them Chasiddim. I'm not saying that have anything against Chasidim (other than the fact that their keilla turned chasidish). They just would never consider themselves chasidim. PS, I'm from this kehilla. – Shmuly May 25 '12 at 6:18
@shmuly I dont disagree but thats what happened. – sam May 25 '12 at 17:00
@Shmuly, that's interesting. What would they consider themselves? Do they have a Rebbe? – Seth J Sep 21 '12 at 14:08
One more similarity between the Vien Chasidim and Ashkenaz - wrapping the Tefilin shel Yad towards the wearer. – binyamingavriel Jan 21 '13 at 16:24

The Gerer shtible near me davens mincha before shki'a, but without tachanun. Also, they say "Boruch HaShem omain vomain" in Maariv.

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They just never say tachanun? Ever? – Double AA May 17 '12 at 14:14
Not to mincha as far as I have seen. – Avrohom Yitzchok May 17 '12 at 14:23
Outside of Breslov and Chabad, the majority of Chassidim do not say Tachnun because they hold of the opinion that you do not say tachnun on the yaharzeit of a tzaddik and there is a yaharzeit everyday. – user1292 May 17 '12 at 17:11
It is true. The source is just about any Chassidic shuls. Even wikipedia holds of this but does not have a source. – user1292 May 17 '12 at 17:16
And among those who do say tachanun, most skip it at mincha. I've long understood this to be because they typically say mincha after sh'kia, when they'd skip tachanun; even if they say it early, then, they do so. @mochinrechavim – msh210 May 17 '12 at 17:22

Erlau daven Nusach Ashkenaz in their main shul in Katamon, (and they are "culturally" hasidic in many ways). In fact, Erlau are more loyal to Minhag Ashkenaz that the vast majority of Nusach Ashkenaz shuls (except for the Yekkis of course). For example, from what I have heard, they say the traditional piyutim throughout the year, including the Marovis on Yom Tov night. So a visit to Erlau in Katamon is probably the closest we can get to a "traditional" Eastern European Nusach Ashkenaz davening, (even though many consider them Chasidim and they dress with streimels, have a rebbe, tish etc...)

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There are a number of Carlebach-style minyanim both in the U.S. and in the Holy Land of Israel that pray in Nusach Ashkenaz, and I do believe that Reb Shlomo was Chassidic. However, there have in the past existed within other Chassidic groups multiple sets of minhagim. One example is that there was a Chabad before Lubavitch. I know this because the Baal HaTanya himself was from a place called Liadi, not Lubavitch. He probably had Liadian (sp?) minhagim, not Lubavitcher ones.

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Can any Chabad and/or Lubavitch readers confirm the latter bit? – Double AA May 18 '12 at 3:31
In terms of halacha, Lubavitchers adhere to the Shulchan Aruch HaRav, written by the Baal HaTanya. In terms of minhag, however, Chabad minhagim are codified in Sefer HaMinhagim, compiled about fifty years ago. The last Lubavitcher Rebbe z'l described it as clarifying which particular minhag was the practice of the Chabad community where the S"A gave multiple opinions. – yoel May 18 '12 at 3:57
@yoel, Lubavitchers follow Sh"A HaRav, except where it is contradicted by his Siddur (which he wrote later). Double AA, Adam; Chabad had ties to the city of Lubavitch even prior to the Alter Rebbe; also, he actually studied there for several years as a child. Additionally, his family were chassidim of the BeSH"T, so it's likely that they followed his minhagim. Adam, while it's true that Chabad split into different groups (Lubavitch, Kopust etc.,) after the Tzemach Tzedek's passing, as far as I know, they all shared the minhagim of the Tz"Tz (i.e. Chabad). <-Someone may correct me on that point – HodofHod May 18 '12 at 4:39
@DoubleAA - Thank you for pursuing confirmation. Insightful answers from the others. – Adam Mosheh May 18 '12 at 22:53
Minhagim in europe were mostly family based, so there is no chiddush that it was any more in Chabad than any other group. Minhagim in Lubavitch have evolved and certain things that were done then aren't done now and other things were added by different Rebbeim. Even how Chassidus is explains differs from the Mitteler Rebbe to the Rebbe Rashab. The statement that "multiple minhagim" were kept needs explaination. Two minhagim for the same issue? Keeping a satmar minhag as well? Family minhag? Bottom line is you can replace Chabad with just about any group and make the statement work. – user1292 May 20 '12 at 6:00

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