Yes I have many times in the past. I know, purists would cast me off for not finding an orchard to get my fresh juice from, but truth be told, it's hard to find an apple orchard around New Orleans.
With that said, I've used fresh apple cider and fresh apple juice before to make my hard cider. But myself or my wife can't tell much of a difference between the fresh pressed and Motts' after it's fermented. And when comparing the prices, fresh pressed ends up being about 4-5 times as much.
I always like to keep it on tap because my wife and I enjoy it. Anyway, I wait until Target has it on sale in the big half gallon jugs and then I stock up on it.
I have found that I like to carmelize 2-3 pounds of sugar with a little lemon juice and add boiling water to make a syrup. Then I mix that with 4 gallons of Motts' apple juice and ferment using a good strong ale yeast, SafAle 005 works well for me.
Then draw it off the primary after 10 days or so and rack into secondary for a week or two for further yeast to fall out. When you're fine with the clarity, I add a half gallon of apple juice that hasn't been fermented into the keg and syphon the fermented cider into it.
Depending on how much sugar you use, the ferment should come out to be 8-10% It will also dry out pretty good and lose a lot of the apple flavor. Adding the juice at the end, adds back a good bit of the apple sweetness and flavor and also brings the cider up to 5 gallons and a nice drinkable 6% or so. I've done many things with this basic recipe over the years. I like a couple cinnamon sticks in the keg once in awhile. I've also liked it with various berries smashed and added during the fermentations.
Good luck, and just say no to champagne yeast.