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We report an S-band erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) with a multistage configuration in terms of its design, gain, and noise characteristics for various pump powers and input signal powers, the temperature dependence of the gain spectra, and gain tilt compensation for changes in input signal power and temperature change. We show that there is a tradeoff between low noise and efficiency in the S-band EDFA and describe the development of an S-band EDFA with a flattened gain of more than 21 dB and a noise figure of less than 6.7 dB. We also show that there is a change in the gain spectra with changes in the pump power and input signal power that is different from that observed in C- and L-band EDFAs, and that our EDFA has a temperature-insensitive wavelength. Furthermore, we develop a gain tilt compensated S-band EDFA that can cope with changes in input signal power and temperature.