Speaker Termination for dummies

OK...I know there are other threads out there about speaker connectors but I need this stuff spoon fed to me. How should I hook my speakers up. I have a Marantz 7200 Receiver and psb Alpha speakers so I can't pay $500 for wire! I have heard of "banana plugs" but what are "spade connectors" and how do they work. Also, what gauge wire should I be using to run 25' to the rear channels? Thanks in advance.
...a gauge of 14 is good enough for your rear channels and should be good enough even for your mains. You simply can just buy a Zip Cord from RadioShack and hook it up unterminated. If you put 1.5"(both ends speaker and amp) of a good quality silver solder along the peeled conductor, you'll have one of the best terminations possible.
You won't be even in the $50 wire budget for all your speakers.

Banana plugs are needed if often swapping occurs between speakers, amps or wires so you can rapidly plug and unplug.
Within the time they loose stiffness of connection and become kind-of loose. In that case I would recommend to aquire only locking bananas. Bananas offer the smallest connection surface but if properly maintained(cleaned once in a while) there is just only the small compromise.

Spades are just like bananas with bigger and stiffer contacting surface. They need to be tighten up as firm as possible probably with the wrench where applicable. When I used the spades I managed to tighten them up the way I could see the squized semi-sphere trace. But than again I've come to the conclusion that I have to execise a connection with no bananas or spades and that's what I use now. Make sure that spades have the right size for your binding posts.
Spades look like two prong flat forks. You could also use pins which are a single flat piece of gold plated metal. For bananas, your speaker terminals on your receiver need to have a round hole in the back to plug the banana into.

For a long run of wire you should use a thick wire. The smaller the number (gauge) the thicker the wire. 12 gauge would be fine, 16 is too small for a long run.

Can I recommend IXOS 6003 speaker wire which is available at www.AC4L.com (Accessories for less) for $1.50 per foot with free shipping. They also sell terminations and will terminate them for just the cost of plugs. The IXOS 6003 is 13 gauge.

You will also want to check the terminals in the back of your receiver. On some, plastic protrudes out and around the screw in speaker connection, with a small space to fit in bare wire. You will not be able to put spades into that small space. You will have to use pins or bananas. While bare wire is fine also, I recommend you "tin" the bare wire ends, which means coating the wire ends with silver solder to cut down on corrosion of the copper.

I have a set of PSB Alpha Minis somewhere in my room, and from what I remember, they won't accept bananas or spades, only bare wire or pin termination. Just a guess, but your Marantz probably is able to use any of the previously mentioned methods of termination.
Buy OMC Monster cable from J&R music world or soundcity.com
about $ 1.00 a foot or less .Try to use bare wire first ... twist the ends with a linemans pliers or regular pliers this will make the ends tight and will rough up the ends. You can also add crimp on spades from radio shack if necessary. The Linemans pliers is a heavy tool used by electrians and does a great job of crimping too ( $15.00 or so at HD) Also on posts place wire on left side and wrap around to right side so nut pushes wire onto post not away from it.
JC: I'd advise sticking to bare wire unless you're the type who likes changing wires in and out a lot (in which case a connector will make your life easier). As for wire size, her's the definitive tool for getting it right: