Stupid question: Clear Stain or how to heighten contrast

Ok, I have to give detail as to what I mean here. I bought some birch plywood and some birch beadboard. The beadboard was prefinished with a clear semi-gloss to gloss. I tried matching the color yesterday first by using a clear on the plywood. The contrast of the grain doesn't stand out as much. Then I tried Minwax natural stain on the plywood, which kicks up the contrast between light and dark grain but turns it more towards yellow.
I understand I won't get exactly the same tone, but I'm hoping for something a little closer. I almost want to "stain" with straight water, but you know that wouldn't work.
Is there anything that will kick up the contrast before I apply a clear without changing the color of the wood?

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