The stability of the output of a single-mode laser diode array with frequency selective phase conjugate feedback has been investigated experimentally. Both the long-term stability of the laser output and the sensitivity to feedback generated by external reflection of the output beam are examined. The output power and the center wavelength are found to be extremely stable in a 100 h stability measurement. External feedback of the output beam into the laser is seen to decrease both the spatial and the temporal coherence of the output significantly. We outline an approach to obtain a stable single-mode output when external feedback is present using spatial filtering in the path of the output beam. (C) 2000 American Institute of Physics.