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Extinction ratio conservation, wide dynamic range, and large operating wavelength window are important features for all-optical wavelength converters. Practical converters may probably be multistage devices and have to be precisely modeled. We present an experimental analysis and phenomenological modeling of single- and multistage wavelength converters using cross-gain modulation in polarization insensitive multiquantum-well optical amplifiers. One of the studied double-stage converters is able to produce a large extinction ratio improvement with a regeneration factor higher than 1.5 for any conversion in the 1.53-1.56-/spl mu/m window. The phenomenological model yields a very good agreement with the experimental results.