I have endorsed Yamaha drums for 23 years! I love the instruments they make but Its the people who have kept me there. Not only do they build the highest quality gear but they support their artists like no other company.
The. Best. Cymbals. Ever. I recently had the opportunity to visit the Paiste factory in Switzerland and the experience reaffirmed what I already new: Paiste makes the highest quality cymbals in the world! Each one is a living & breathing musical entity.
I started playing Vic Firth sticks when I was a kid. I had the opportunity to play other brands - but when I did - I was always seriously disappointed. Responsiveness. Balance, Musicality. They don't get in the way of translating what's in my head to the drum kit.
I play Remo. I've tried all the rest. No contest. The other companies make heads that make your drums sound like their heads. Remo makes heads that sound like your drums.
Anyone who knows me and the way I play knows that gels are a big part of the way I produce a wide variation in sounds. They help me filter out the things that don't belong in the microphones. Slapklatz muffling gels are amazing at getting this very important job done for me.