I've tried a few dowel bundles and the ones I like best especially for definition are the Firth/Steve Smith Tala Wands. They seem to have the best rebound and general attack of all the ones I've tried. I usually use the yellow birch models.
Brushes generally won't have much definition although you can usually get some gutsier sounds by playing with the middle part of the fan where the wires start coming together more.
I was given the Firth Live Wires with the small beads on the end but I've never been able to get the more traditional brush swish to sound good with them. You can definitely her them better on cymbals but...you have to like the sound of them on drums as well for that to work.
I don't use "Multi-Rods" but I do have several pairs of brushes laying around but I can't remember off hand who makes them. If I'm playing a venue that I know that I'll be using brushes for much of the music, I'll just mic my kit a bit differently and I may change the heads on my snare drum to either an Evans G1 or Ambassador coated batter head. I usually use Evans Power Center Reverse Dots. I also like to use cymbals that are a bit more aggressively lathed, in traditional finishes.