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The full characteristics for two high-concentration erbium-doped fibers are reported. The comparison of the fibers characteristics indicates that design of fiber geometry can be used to partially compensate for the degradation of the amplifiers performance due to upconversion processes. For high NA fiber the 22-dB small-signal gain, and 3.5-dB noise figure are obtained from a 24-cm length of fiber. We report a photon quantum conversion efficiency of 28%, which corresponds to the highest efficiency obtained in heavily doped fibers.