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The effects of the Stokes pulse shape, the finite Stokes pulse width, and the timing of the pump and Stokes pulses are examined in detail with regard to the performance limitation on Raman compressors arising from second Stokes production. It is shown that there is an optimal pulse shape for which the second Stokes gain is minimized. The end corrections, where the Stokes wave passes through the Raman medium but does not overlap the pump, are found to have a significant effect on performance. The compression achievable with optimal pulses, timing, and cell length appears to be up to twice that attainable with the Gaussian Stokes pulses considered previously.