An optical visualization apparatus has been designed to measure the particle-velocity and solid-concentration profiles of highly concentrated coarse-particle suspensions in a wide-gap Couette rheometer. The main objective is to investigate the frictional-viscous transition, a phenomenon that has been already reported in recent papers [1, 2, 3, 4], but still remains partially understood. For wide-gap viscometers and complex fluids, a related issue is the Couette problem, which underpins the rheometrical treatment for viscometric flows in coaxial-cylinder rheometers; we compare shear-rate computations obtained by solving the Couette problem (bulk estimate) and by differentiating the velocity and concentration profiles (local measurement).