First thing about the picks themselves. They come with a black oxide finish, just like the HPC carbon steel picks. This personally drives me nuts, and I sanded off the layer first thing. I can understand why S.S. and HPC need to have the layer on carbon steel during storage, and I don't fault them, but the oxide layer adds some serious friction to pick movement. Once it's sanded off though, the action was silky smooth.
I bought several profiles to test them out: short hook, diamond, single hump bogota, Falle reach, offset diamond, and something they call a "euro notch fulcrum lifter". Essentially, it is a notched short hook with a small bump on the contralateral side (?!) (Pick on the bottom). Still playing with it to figure out what that's for. I'm guessing it's for stabilization purposes when rotating a pin (??) I'm starting on Medecos classics so I thought I'd pick one up to test it out. If anyone has tried these before and know the rationale behind the bump, please post!
This is why I bought the picks, for their profile. As much as I love my Peterson euros, Peterson's euro profile is too high in pick shaft for real euro cylinders (at least I think so). So I compared the dimensions of the Peterson euro vs S.S. euro vs Rytan mini short hook (courtesy of Magician59.) The S.S. euro is very close to the Rytan minis in term of dimensions.
Thick 0.65 mm
Height 1.53 mm (neck of pick tip) -> 2.69 mm (pick base)
Height 1.33 -> 2.25
Rytan mini hook
Height 1.26 -> 2.85
S.S. vs Rytan
S.S. vs Peterson vs. HPC Euro Gem
Government steel still wins for feedback. However, I suspect that this may partly be due to Peterson's larger dimensions as well. Black diamonds have extremely good feedback, especially since I have a hard time fitting my Peterson euros into tighter cylinders. The Rytans were a little too flexible for my taste, and they lack a handle so my hands were cramping. Rytans are very good for getting into spaces where you actually need the pick to flex, but I prefer the feedback and handling of the black diamonds. Kudos to Southern Specialties for making an exceptional product, these are now my favorite tools for euro cylinders.
And of course, the proof is in the pudding.
Hope this was helpful.