An optical amplifier comprises a wavelength tunable filter, one or more optical gain stages, and a controller for controlling a spectral profile of the wavelength tunable filter in response to a measured spectral characteristic of the amplifier. The controller may also control gain of the gain stage(s). The controller determines the filter spectral profile necessary to obtain a desired amplifier spectral characteristic. The spectral characteristic may, for example, be a power spectral output of the amplifier or a gain profile of the amplifier. The amplifier may incorporate a dispersion compensator. The controller may control a spectral profile of the wavelength tunable filter and gain of the dispersion compensator. A tunable fiber light source is also described.